The Family Creed

There is a waterfall. It is October – school holidays. The water is icy, the jump probably about 7 metres. I am feeling timid.

“Jump,” Dad said.

I am at once equally ambitious and yet tentative. I look down again to check if the jump has shortened or the water warmed. I chew the left inside of my cheek when I am conflicted like this.

“Just jump.”

My Dad, dripping from his own plummet, places bronzed hands on fleshily muscled hips and looks over the edge in fellowship. He has never been one for sermonizing, but there is some strange significance, or gravity, that is building as we stand on the edge of this cliff. I feel consequence looking down on me.

He turns to me, and then famously states a family creed:

“In life, when coming across a body of water, I suggest you err on the side of going in.”

I think about it for a moment. I still think about it even now, with many years having tumbled and flowed down over these rocks between this day and today – and rightly so; a family creed deserves such consideration.

And I put my hands on chicken-lip hips…

I jump in.

And I have done ever since.


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