The plane gained 5,000ft rather slowly in large upward circles. The sun was nearing the horizon and the distant hills were darkening into shadow. I sat on the floor next to the pilot and watched the ground get farther and farther away through the bottom opening on the half door. Looking straight down over the wheel didn’t seem to eliminate the nervous jitters that coursed through my body, my first freefall. I began a simple meditation of moving my hand from my thigh up to the ripcord, over and over. We reached the correct elevation, the door opened to a blast of warm air and I swung out onto the small step for a short moment before pushing off. Then next few seconds flashed by as I looked up and saw the plane shoot upwards away from me as I fell downwards then a quick pull and I felt the chute open with a sudden jerk. Suspended I watched the suns lower edge break the horizon.  (Made ten jumps back then, and tried it once again many years later: photo-still scared the heck out of me) Eastern Washington