: A Frog in Search of a New
Leap of Faith
The most meaningful journey to take is
Once upon a place . . .
The pond was not deep that day. Indeed
it had been shallow for some time. But most of the pond
dwellers didn’t mind—it was just the way things were.
For instance, the turtles were quite happy as long as
they had water enough to swim around in. They even liked
to bask their shells in the sun as they topped the
surface, with the water being just so. Great for the
cranes, too. They liked how the shallow water made it
easy to bob in for something tasty. The fish didn’t
complain either—being closer to the surface made it
easier to seize a floating munchie.
Truth to tell, for the inhabitants of
the pond, there was contentment enough to go around,
never a grumble or a whisper of complaint. Most took to
spending average days living out average lives without
too much moodiness.
Most, but not all.
Ping was a frog, but more than that,
he was a frog with a proud heritage, even though he had
no memory of it. He didn’t know, for example, that the
ancients in China believed that frogs came from the
moon, hatching from eggs that fell from the sky with the
silver rain. Oh, he could go hiking back in his own
time, remembering his earliest days at the pond, before
he had arms and before he had legs, remembering what it
was like to joyously zoom through the deep water,
propelled by his tail.
And when he was older and there was
jumping to be done, nothing pleased him more. Ping was
an incredibly gifted jumper, the best at going the
In one hop, Ping perfectly sailed nine
feet—correction, sorry—nine feet three inches, an
unbeatable record. Such was the remarkable talent of
Ping the frog that all the denizens of the pond would
stop whatever they were doing to watch when Ping jumped.
They felt privileged to witness such glory.
Ping thought nothing of it. All he
knew was that jumping great distances was terrific fun
and that now, sadness of sadness, there was no good
jumping at the pond anymore. Not with the water nearly
Which brings us to the point that in order to live a
life of grace beyond gravity you have to have two
things. First, you have to have a strong desire to live
your best life, and second, you have to have the will
and willingness to live it each and every day.
Ping had both.
What he didn’t have was water. And
Ping needed water to jump in.
I should add, at this point, that the
pond had always been spring-fed, and while doing my
research, I couldn’t find any clues as to what had
changed the course of the spring. What I did find was
that while staying half-heartedly in the same old spot
was fine for others, it was not at all fine for Ping.
Ping shrugged and sighed. He longed
for the breadth and the depth of the once-upon-a-time
deep water. He had taken such pleasure in the way the
heavenly hues and intoxicating scents of the lotus and
lily blossoms used to rule the water’s surface. And who
could argue with the serene rhythm of the reeds as they
swayed along with the bamboo breezes. This waterscape
had brought such happiness to his inner mind. But gone
now it was, and what remained in its place did nothing
for Ping’s soul.
The ancient Taoist Chuang Tzu wrote,
“Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does,
so that its nature will be satisfied.”
Now obviously amphibians can’t read,
but when you’re a frog, what you do and see every day
shows you that all living things have a place in the
natural order of things and that each has its own
destiny to fulfill.
Ping sensed, no, he knew without any
doubt in his heart, that what he wanted more than
anything else was to live a life that would enable him
to be one with what he was.
So strong was Ping’s belief in his
inborn talents and unique capabilities that he spent his
days sitting at the pond’s edge just dreaming the
biggest dreams of becoming his own best self. But alas,
while Ping’s dreams got bigger, the pond got smaller,
until that startling day when the pond was no longer a
pond at all, and the comfy-cozy, safe surroundings that
Ping had for so long enjoyed were going . . . going . .
. pffft . . . gone.
That’s an exaggeration, of course.
There were twigs and stones and hapless bones, all sorts
of things left behind, in the pond bed. And there was
the mud. Much mud everywhere.
For days the mud was where Ping sat,
and for nights the mud was where Ping slept. But he
didn’t sleep much. It’s hard to let go when fear lurks
inside you. And Ping was afraid.
Change—real change—is unsettling. When
change happens, it can create the kind of fear that can
take hold of even the most confident of frogs. It can
instill confusion, hesitation, anger, anxiety, and
desperation. Fear of change can grip and grab and seize
you with such strength, it can paralyze you.
But only if you let it.
Fear of change, fear of taking risks,
fear of ridicule or that someone will disapprove of your
goals and dreams—these are the enemies of intention and
transformation. But even enemies have enemies, and the
enemy of fear is found in courage. Courage is not the
absence of fear; it is acting in spite
For some, the realization of this
simple fact takes time. For many the realization never
comes at all. For Ping, it pretty much took about a
Day after day, Ping experienced
emotions he’d never felt before. He was confused and
He tussled with his thoughts about the
cherished past, about his deep-water pond the way it
was. The memories reached out to him. After all, the
pond was the only place he had ever known.
But who can guess that precise moment
when your world is going to change, when out of some
divine blue, providence provides you with the strength
to hold on or to let go. To be awake to choice is to be
awake to transformation.
As Ping sat in the stuckness of the
mud, pondering his choices, a most important revelation
came to him. His life was his to live intentionally.
Ping made the choice to let go of his
past, engage the future, and give birth to the great new
idea of his life.
It was five minutes before dawn on the
seventh day when Ping took a final glance back at his
once beloved surroundings, let go all the glories of his
past adventures, and made the most perfect leap into the
greatest adventure of all. . . .
Copyright © 2006 Stuart Avery
Ping: A Frog in
Search of a New Pond
Published by Newmarket Press
hardcover / 90 pages