One of the greatest fears in my life is the fear of falling. The fear has been here ever since I can remember--from the time I was quite small. My earliest memory of this fear revolves around the day my older sister literally dragged me to school because I was too afraid to walk on the icy hills that surrounded my Ohio home. I was five. I've never been terribly interested in activities like skiing or skating because of this fear. As an adult, I don't dwell on the fear, but the fear is there--just under the surface.
Yesterday as I walked beside a swiftly moving creek, I had a glimpse into something I had never noticed before. I am a very auditory person, so I like listening to the sound of water as it flows by. What I noticed was this: in those places where the water is level, there is next to no sound. It is only in those places where the elevation changes--where the water falls--that the sound of running water occurs. The joy and peace of that sound occurs only in the process of falling!
Falling is a scary proposition. You are never sure exactly what will happen when you fall. You could get lucky and land in a soft snowbank, or you might get dashed on the rocks below. Still, as in everything, there can be joy in the process. The water knows this as it tumbles down the rocks. It soothes with its song. There is joy in everything, if we only take the time to listen and appreciate the beauty we find along the way.