What created the disaster and what happened to the Flying Avalons?
Louise Erdrich's "The Leap" is the story of the narrator's mother, Anna, who saved her life three times. The story is set in New Hampshire, where Anna was a circus performer. The narrator mentions that her life was saved for the first time when the erratic weather of New Hampshire lead to a disaster. Anna and her first husband, Harold Avalons, were the famous "Flying Avalons" and performed a blindfolded trapeze act. At its finale, an electrical storm built and struck the main tent pole, disrupting guide wires and leading to Harold Avalon's fall. Anna removed her blindfold, realizing something was wrong, and had a split second to decide whether to cling onto Harold's ankle and fall to her death with him or save herself, which she did by clinging on to superheated wires, burning her hand in the process. The Flying Avalons were destroyed by this natural disaster caused by an electrical storm.