We are all standing on the edge of it every day of our lives.
We brew coffee, check email, wash dishes, work, rest, sleep. We have days that go just as planned and days where nothing goes the way we want it to at all. But until an alarm sounds--a death, a disease, a diagnosis, a discovery, the thing that hurls us right into the middle of it--we live as if it doesn't exist.
IT is the great UNKNOWN.
Sounds scary, doesn't it?
It sounds scary because it's a place where we've never been. It's that area we've yet to explore.
I've done my best to pretend it wasn't there. I've tried to convince myself that it was a place I'd never travel to. A place that I didn't need to see. Leave it to other brave souls, I thought, that is not for me.
As it turns out my airborne travel, the free fall, landed me here: in the great unknown.
As soon as my feet hit the ground, I surveyed the land and--being true to my first instincts--immediately assessed the quickest way OUT.
To my left were soaring, jagged walls of rock. And I had no gear to climb them.
To my right were raging rapids. And I had no raft to ride them.
I panicked. I looked left and right again. Scrambled for a way OUT. I wanted out. Out!!
"Won't someone get me out of here?" I yelled--feeling immediately hoarse. "Anyone? Anyone? Isn't there anything anyone can do?"
And my voice echoed off the rocks and mingled with the whooshing of the waters.
So I cried out again. Frantic to be heard. To be rescued. To be anywhere but HERE.
And again my calls echoed and mingled and whooshed. And I waited. I waited for the answer.
Night came. And it seemed to last for days.
The sun did rise (it always does), but it faded behind the thick clouds that had gathered through the night.
And just when I thought the sun would shine and provide light and warmth and illuminate the way OUT, it began to rain. And I had no umbrella.
And the rain seemed to last for days.
The clouds did clear (they always do), and then night came.
When the sun rose again the next morning, my clothes were still damp from the day before.
The clouds returned and filled the sky again that day, but they were not as thick as they had been the day before. And for the first time since my landing, the sun shone brightly--just for a moment.
And in that brief moment of sunshine, my heart knew something. My heart knew that no one was going to come to my rescue. There really wasn't anything anyone could do.
But panic didn't strike. Peace came.
I knew then that I didn't need a rescue... I simply needed to go through.
Since that day, the day the sun broke through, I am still making my way through the unknown. I'm still surrounded by walls of rock and raging waters, and yes, it still rains. But I am learning to dance in the rain.
The unknown exists beyond the fringe of our comfort zones. It stands outside the borders of safe, easy, predictable and neat. It's a place we all have to visit.
If you've been here, then what I've described is familiar terrain. And if you haven't travelled here yet, allow me to reassure you of something.
Although it's not a place most choose to travel to, many have been here and many are journeying their way through. And though at times you will feel lonely, you don't need a rescue because you are never alone.