Three meaningful lines in "The Leap" are as follows:
- "I owe her my existence three times."
- "My mother once said that I'd be amazed at how many things a person can do within the act of falling."
- "I know that she's right. I knew it even then. As you fall there is time to think."
These lines are important because they tie to the theme of making connections and decisions. Connections between the mother and the daughter run throughout the narrative of Louise Erdrich's story, and decisions are often involved.
1. Anna Avalon, whose last name suggests aviary movement, leaps through the air during a terrible storm and grabs a life-saving guide wire, saving her life which enables her to meet her husband and give birth to their daughter, the narrator.
2. Years after her trapeze flight through the air, Anna tells her daughter that she was able to calculate her chances of survival since she did not grab her husband's ankle and fall to her death with him. Instead, she twisted her body so that she could change directions and grab the wire that saved her life.
3. The narrator states that after her mother rescued her from her burning bedroom and, holding her in her arms, they jump to the firefighters' net, the narrator was, indeed, able to think as they fell through the air:
I slowly wondered what would happen if we missed the circle or bounced out of it.
She puts her faith in her mother and holds on as they fall to safety.
As these quotes illustrate, this story addresses moments of decision in people's lives and the manner in which they respond to these critical times, brief times which change the course of people's lives and make connections with others.