Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Tree Swing

Legendary long before I met it. Only accessible by small boat up a tidal creek at the right tide. Docking on the mud bank, its visitors would wade through the marsh and up across the pine-laden carpet to an opening where it hung— thick, heavy, knotted— from a branch that brushed the sky.

Up I climbed on the fragmented steps nailed to the tree trunk. Up for myself, up for any who thought they didn’t belong out on a limb… But where was the rope? It hadn’t seemed that far away from the ground. As it swung ominously toward me, I looked for the best time to lunge into thin air.

Finally, as all eyes watched, I leapt-- and grabbed the rope fiercely with everything in me. As I was carried into flight, a piercing scream came from somewhere close by. It took some time to realize the sounds I heard were coming from me!

For a few moments, while all within me shook, And my Westie chased wildly back and forth underneath me, I rode the wind. So often I feel the thrilling challenge of an idea, And even the excitement as I near it.

Certainly, I am well acquainted with the growing apprehension as the idea becomes more real, the tenuous steps as I slowly climb my way toward the Point of No Return only to reach a dead-end out of steps or toeholds, out on a limb, with only the beckon to dive into the Void… and all for the sake of what…? Oh, yes, the Ride!

Often paralyzed by my instinctive reflexes, in a split second, I have forgotten that the scream, visceral if not audible, is not the Trumpeter of Certain Death as I have long suspected but in fact the Cheering Eyewitness to a Soul Daring to Engage in Life! Launching into the abyss in search of a new experience of life, I do well to climb carefully, watch and wait until I heed the nudge to jump, then hang on tight and EXPECT to scream until the peels ring into laughter.

Surely the joy is in the Ride.

This summer, in your tentative moments of indecision; or in the middle of a scream; or in the exhilaration of being carried by something bigger than you (like riding waves at the beach), may you remember it’s all a part of your ride a have a great trip!


1 comment:

Jeannie said...

How true. This summer while in California, the opportunity to ascend in a hot air balloon arose. My partner desperately wanted to go and I was scared to death. I have missed so much in life for fear of the unknown. Deciding for once and for all not to be a prisoner of fear, I arranged the trip and we went. 10,000 feet above the Napa Valley floating with the wind. What a "ride."