Freefalling the waterfall: Splashes on the Meaning of Life

a TechLearning simulpost

I jumped backwards into the river's flotsam.
I was immersed in bubbles and foam and water.
The roar was summarily silenced when the water covered my eardrums.
It was taking me.

Down into its silent cacophonous party of mimes
where water covered water in an endless race to somewhere else.
But I was here, now, and they were too.
I stifled the laugh of pure pleasure that would drown me and then –
popped up on the other side of the waterfall.


I yelled as I swam for shore –
exhilarated, glistening, and cold –
adrenaline and blood
racing through my veins
in an endless race to somewhere else.
This is life.

To wish the danger and uncertainty were over would also be
to wish the end of life itself
for life is about the rocks, rush, and immersion in something bigger than yourself —
and somewhere amidst the bubbles
as we humans tumble over each other
on our way to somewhere else
is the essence of life.


I yell — not ready to head for shore yet.

Life, NECC, and Waterfalls

I needed this past week. Disconnected from my trusty Toshiba and connected with nature and my family. Swimming, tubing, laughing, playing, riding horses, it was pure pleasure (although tiring.)

Yesterday we went rafting in small two man “duckies” and pulled over at a waterfall to “funnel” or “free fall” the waterfall. I was the first adult but I didn't care. (I knew my younger sister — not to be outdone — would follow soon.)

I had to first jump off a very big rock into a small 12 foot deep hole where the water pooled, then swim against the current up the fall, where the guide showed me a small rock, about as big as half a barstool where I had to climb up and stand. (All the kids had already done it — and we wonder why us adults are so stressed out.)

Then, she told me

“the only way to do it is to jump backwards as far as you can and let the current take you.”

So, after telling myself I was crazy (again — I do lots of things like this) and telling myself I was going to get an earache and all the motherly conscience in your head kind of things that try to talk one out of doing something crazy — I jumped.

I am glad I did.

It was cold and it was crazy but it filled me with the fullness and joy of life that I haven't felt in a long time. Nothing existed but the fullness and busyness of life but, you know what, it was good.

As I deal with my nerves of NECC and ponder the craziness of life — rush here rush there do this do that — I realized in the midst of that waterfall before my head came up that this is life.

So, in the waterfall, I saw life. Life is good. It is wonderful. It is so busy but that is what life is.

So, when you want to whine about how hard it is to get folks to “listen” and how hard it is to shuttle the kids and to referee, and cook dinner, and all of the mundane things that drive us crazy, remember the waterfall. Life is a waterfall — you're running towards something else, but when you get to shore and the rush stops — life is over, so we might as well enjoy the craziness while its here.

Life is too short to have a bad day.

Enjoy the ride. And do something crazy sometimes, you might just learn something.


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Durff June 23, 2007 - 10:42 pm

I love this post and I love this word picture! I must really be missing a great time at NECC!!

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