Face-Plants and Comets

I started doing writing prompts to try and improve and just to get the creative juices rolling. I figured posting them will help me visually see a difference. This one was really interesting to me. The goal was to tie an old memory to a global event. Then it was to be written to someone who wasn’t entirely close to you, but still had some sort of impact:

Dear Simon,

Have you ever come across a mini human and thought “Wow, that’s one child who loves being a kid”. That was me all over, I didn’t think in terms of “when I grow up I will be able to this” instead it was more along the lines that due to being a kid I could do anything I set my mind to- sometimes that thought process landed me in some painful circumstances. It didn’t matter though, pain or no pain, I still went full force thinking that I had this no matter what. Even if it was the first time for me to attempt it.

Remember that time you tried to teach me to rock climb? Great emphasis on the “tried” part. For someone who didn’t have their own children at that point, your level of tolerance wasn’t all that bad. Trying to teach a child who has a know-it-all attitude can try the patience of a saint. Just ask my parents, there are loads of other stories where I imagined I knew exactly what was going on (Look at me acting like that personality flaw is completely absent as an adult).

I remember being a bit scared when I stood before that mountain, it seemed to be the equivalent of Mount Everest to my 8 year old self. I wasn’t nicknamed “Rachael Can Do” for just giggles. With that thought at the forefront of my mind no mountain, hill, or boulder would intimidate me. The reality of it being at the scale of a large cliff face is not entirely accurate, but isn’t that the way it always appears to a child? Everyone and everything in your life seems to almost touch the sky, not just in terms of height but in personality as well. You were bigger than life and I looked up to you, pun intended.

The most crystal clear part of that day is when I quite literally face-planted on the rock wall. I was trying my best to save my pride while listening to my Dad crack up at the spectacle before him, and you tossing your hands up in the air. I absolutely refused to shed a tear, or at the very least not let either of you see it. Even though I was a bit of an annoyance, you still were able to instill a great appreciation for rock climbing which I feel to this day.

The level of invincibility and confidence in a child is something I kind of miss. I think that there are different levels of it dependent upon age. The teenage one being the worst and most dangerous, but when you’re just at 8yrs of age? You still rely on the adults in your life, you know that they will be there to catch you if you fall. With that knowledge, you can take on the world yet still have some balance. That childlike wonder and confidence aren’t really carried over into adulthood. I wish it did because I could use some of the guts I had possessed at that time. But like all things in life it changes or grows into something more.

It feels like there were many instances that I’ve seen that were a once-in-a-lifetime type of event. Instances that made me feel as tall as you but realize just how small I am. Speaking of those types of events, remember Hale-Bopp Comet? To have witnessed something that only comes around every 2,533 years is nothing short of epic.

That time with my family was magical to me. Even though it was July, it was a slightly cool and crisp night, and the sky was crystal clear-not a cloud in sight. There was no light pollution to impede the view. You could even see the milky way, I miss being able to see that so easily. Gex being the small village it was, and located at the foothills of the Jura mountains, made it perfect to view anything pertaining to the sky. To be able to see something from space with just the naked eye created a standstill moment. In my imagination, even the animals and insects were silent in appreciation. You could have heard a pin drop, it was so quiet. As I held my breath in fascination, my entire being felt as vast as the sky I was gazing at, yet so very small at the same time. Two emotions that are opposing in so many ways, but there’s no better explanation.

I’ve come to realize as an adult that you brought about quite a few moments of wonder and awe- never mind all the laughs-when I lived in France. Those events encouraged me to appreciate momentous events in life and to truly listen to those around me. Possibly, a little less of a braggart…

2 thoughts on “Face-Plants and Comets

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