The Ledge

By Anna Reid

December 14, 2020

The Ledge

We’ve come to Switzerland and we’re in love. It’s the crisp air, the towering waterfalls and majestic peaks––a guise to hide the death that lurks behind the exquisite landscape where we’ve flocked to feel alive. BASE jumpers and paragliders cluster here, like the migration of birds motivated by food, but there’s a high cost for humans who don parachutes and fly. Maybe they’re lucky to die surrounded by immeasurable beauty, along with other species who’ve perished in pursuit of what feeds them.

For most birds, migration is an instinct, a journey that their bodies are prepared to take when the time comes. In this landscape that has pried open loss and spit it out, birds drink from streams. The waterways are constantly changing: soft layers become hardened, resistant to erosion. Rivers feed waterfalls, until their eventual collapse is redeemed only by the likelihood that they’ll materialize again downstream, in a different form.

Seven years have passed since the death of a man I once loved. On this trip, I’ve not thought much about his wingsuiting accident (where he crashed into the mountain, where his body was recovered, where his GoPro still rests) possibly in fairness to my now husband, to the constant heat of the embers that have burned since the moment we met. The future has a way of dimming the past, where memories feel like migrants navigating a new world.


Anna Reid lives in Nashville and is currently working on her memoir, Prone to Wander: Migrations of a Human Heart. More at


Photo by Matheus Bertelli courtesy of Pexels
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