LEAP OF FAITH

Meet one of the travelers on this year’s Bali for Families expedition – a cheerful 12 year old girl.

She’s standing on a large rock, maybe 10 feet over a freshwater mountain pool, the kind of place you see in travel magazines.

She wants to jump off like she’d seen some kids and parents before her do… she’s afraid… afraid to jump.

Haven’t we all been in that place at some point in our lives? In some way?

She leans forward and then steps back off the jumping spot, her heart beating fast.

Mustering her courage, she steps back to the edge again. This time voices of encouragement, shouts of, “You can do this! You got it,” come from all sides. We see her lean forward and after a moment, retreat from the edge.

Will she do it, we all wonder.

We lean towards her- attention riveted.

She steps forward. I’m in the pool, wanting to be a reassurance that someone is there in the water.  She moves back to the edge for the third time.. pondering.

Kadek, our unfailingly cheerful Balinese guide, gives her a nudge. Was it the nudge or had she already decided? Maybe a little of both.

She jumps. It’s as if it’s in slow motion and then she’s in the water.

She swims out easily to cheers of “You did it!”. She’s laughing and elated.

Her story doesn’t end there.

At the Children’s Home she pairs up with two of the older kids to learn a dance to a song she loves… Havana. The three of them perform it for a crowd at that night’s birthday celebration. It isn’t easy for her on a lot of levels, she wants to quit, to step back off the rock, but sticks with it.

Later, after an inspiring snorkeling experience at a gorgeous coral reef, she decides to take the Intro to Scuba class, something that wasn’t even on her radar screen, and proudly earns herself a two week pass to do 12 meter dives.

I can’t say what impact it had on all of us. I can only speak for myself.

I grew. I felt I could do things that are hard. I decided at 64 years old I would learn to surf. Sounds crazy. There’s more to it than her jump. But I will say it gave me courage.

I feel we all stepped into the light from under the umbrella of uncertainty…like so many other similar moments during that journey.