The day started off dry. Dry cereal with no milk. Dry hymn pages turning in church. And the dry, hot air calling for something fresh.
There was some vague plan to go swimming later on, but the process to get all the plans together was long and a hassle. Zoya had work, Danny was all over the place, and permission slips and calls had to be done to even leave campus. Boarding school has too many regulations.
Eventually, it did happen though. Elaijah and I finally left campus in one of the most ghetto cars I’ve seen. Danny’s little black car was dusty, old, and apparently working. I struggled to put on my seat belt which consisted of one lap belt, the shoulder belt twisted from another material into existence and buckling up by my ear. Looking down on your left side, you would see that the gear shift had no cover and the center console was gone. Screws and other tools causally lay on the dashboard as decor would. Danny, however, drove his car proudly and with great skill.
We then picked up Prema and Zoya and required snacks and drove off to the to Coeur d’ alene, a cute town that overlooked a dark blue lake. We drove up a steep hill, Prema skeptically holding her breath, hoping that Danny’s car would make it up. It did.
We parked and right behind us pulled in a full on hippie bus. The grey aluminum seemed to contain everything that was of value to them: food, clothes, surfboards, couches, curtains, their souls. Guys climbed out with hair that was curly and crazy. They were in search of cliffs to jump off.
We found the cliffs before them. Albeit they were small, they were the solution to the monotony of our day.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of jumping off a cliff into the water.
The first seconds are exhilarating. The feeling of being scared comes from the fall; you have no control and I suppose that’s what humans dislike. We always have to have some sense of security: always wanting to know all. We forget the thrill of letting go and just rushing in.
Then the water. It shocks you, everything in your body seems pinned with cold. The jump is high so when you reach the water you sink all the way to the bottom. Your feet taps the rocks and suddenly you push up and you’re back in the air.
We jumped again and again until the sun started it’s decent behind the hills. Coer d’alne is beautiful even though it is small. We decided to walk downtown, live music permeating throughout the air. The moon and street lights matched, both were vivid.
There was a beat up van with the letters, “The Prayer Challenge: Pray More”, scrawled out on it. Next to it was a guy playing the guitar, beating a drum, singing, and occasionally blowing on a harmonica. The one man band. His music was grungy, and he played with talent. We all stopped to listen to him and his impressive skills.
After a few minutes Prema grabbed my hand and started dancing. In the middle of downtown our whole group started moving to the music. Zoya started her handstands and a random guy showed up and began kicking some moves out with his feet and doing fancy tricks with his hat. Several people were throwing their hands together and clapping.
It’s weird to suddenly feel a connection with strangers. I sometimes wonder how there can be so many people in the world yet we all barely know each other. Most of us all do the same things: go to school, go to work, eat, sleep, read, run, shout, cry, dance, sing, and love. We keep so many things to ourselves, all living life but doing it so differently. Why are there so many lonely people, yet so many souls in this world?
On the way back we drove with the speakers up and sang as loud as we could. The beats blasting from the speakers, the wind rushing in our open windows, our voices shouting and laughing. Life was blaring.
At that moment, it felt good to be young and alive. It felt right to believe that people can still change the world, that each person has potential and good in them. I felt that my future looked as bright as the stars shining that night.