Jump

You reach the edge of the cliff.
How far down is the water? 
Twenty feet? 
Thirty?

It overlooks a wide, deep creek. 
If you jump out far enough, 
you will land comfortably
in a swimmable current. 

But the breeze picks up, 
you’re no longer hot, 
and you know the water
must be cold.

Do you jump, or not?
If you don’t, what stops you?
If it was fear, why are you afraid,
and how often is this moment
a metaphor for your life?

Night descends dark blue, 
the fireflies are out. 
Deep in the woods is a fallen tree, 
hundreds of years old, 
roots torn out of the ground, 
worn by time, caked in dirt, 
and teaming with new life
while the tree barely 
clings to its own.

Somewhere, deep inside,
exists its last living cell, 
buried like the inconsequential
memories shaping your narrative. 

What becomes of the tree
when that last cell dies?

The same thing 
that you become
when you jump.

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