WPC: Weight(less)

Heart in your throat chills
wandering up your neck feet
sweating palms heavy
you have done this
before the wilds around you
call you near
to climb on her back and swim
in her lakes as blue
as the clearest sky you see
your reflection
pushing past the fear
one two three

My husband has a thing for alpine lakes, especially in the Sierra. Our family loves this area, Rock Creek within John Muir Wilderness, and we have hiked and camped here with our boys twice. Both times my boys (husband included) braved the frigid waters and got up to their waist in this lake. The first time we were here only my husband jumped in.

When we told our boys we were going back this past summer they both remembered this lake. Our oldest made it clear that he wanted to jump in this time. Saying and doing are not always easy to bring together. I am first to admit I would love to say I have jumped in but my body freezes every time I am perched above a body of water and I panic. I have felt this fear since I was a girl.

As a parent you see traits passed on, physical ones for sure but also mental ones too. I wondered as we hiked the 1 1/2 miles to this spot which parental trait made its way to our son. My debilitating fear of jumping or my husbands will to fly. I watched our son marvel at his dad’s courage. To jump from a high cliff again and again, strongly swimming to shore and smiling from within.

When our son declared he was ready my husband jumped in the ice melted waters sharing where to jump and how far out he needed to get. My husband waited patiently, treading water and encouraging our son to jump reminding him, “I will catch you”.

I had tears in my eyes as I watched this moment. My camera ready and thoughts weighing on my mind knowing my husband must be absolutely freezing with every second that past. Also, knowing our sons agony of pushing through such fear.

And then, it was quiet, as quiet as it could ever be unless it was snowing. I felt myself flinch as I saw our newly 8 year old boy take a strong step towards the end of the rocks. His shoulders sinking into his body as he jumped with all his might and now there was air between his feet and the rocks.


He flew for a moment and so did my heart.

** This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “Weight (less)”. You can find more images HERE.



    1. Just why I was crying…you are so right, Janet. His life will never be the same! In so many good ways, such a brave moment. I am so happy I was in the right place to capture it. Thank you for reading my essay, it felt good to go back to this moment and write.

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