Once, a long time ago now, I stood on the platform of the high diving board at the swimming pool that had just been built in the park near my school.
I remember looking down at the water, far, far below me, sparkling in the afternoon sun. I could hear the splashing of children playing and their voices echoing off the vast glass walls that kept the English weather at bay, and I could feel my heart battering against my chest in terror.
I was terrified.
I can still feel my skin prickling and the way my toes were curled around the edge.
There was no going back.
Partly because the rules said so, and mostly because I was eleven years old and everything was at stake.
I remember taking a deep breath, closing my eyes and jumping.
I remember the exhileration of the drop, the smack of the water, and going deeper and deeper under. I opened my eyes as I felt my long hair swirling around me, all the sounds somehow deeper and slower, from far away. I was encased in a mantle of bubbles that were catching the light in the dark depths of the thirteen foot deep 'Deep End'.
I was in a magical world, all the more thrilling for my dramatic entry into it.
Slowly, slowly I finished my descent to the bottom of the pool, pushed off the tiles and swam to the surface, where I burst free, gasping for air, my hair plastered over my face. As I dragged myself up the ladders, my friends were patting me on the back, congratulating me, laughing at how daring we all were.
I laughed, too, jumped back in and swam the length of the pool. The overwhelming feeling was one of I did it!
Well, here I am again. I did it. I've been standing on the metaphorical edge, working up the courage to jump in... and start writing about my writing.
I don't know yet what I've got to say, but I'm hoping that I'll rediscover that magical world, that I'll open my eyes and see the bubbles shining all around me, so to speak, and then be able to share with you, just the way I was able to share that moment of glory with my friends, way back when, at the swimming pool.