day 316: rope swing committments

As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a Huck Finn kind of environment with very few fences, and very many forests and creeks.  Or "runs" as we call them.  Bull Run ran through part of my rural neighborhood, and it was a favorite hang out for the teens.

Bull Run was a brown, slow-moving creek that had things besides fish living in it.  It was not uncommon to be splashing around in the muck and to see a water snake bobbing its head around right near you.  Ah, good times.

One side of the run had a field with horses and tall, wild grass, but the other side had an average-sized cliff with a rope swing.  If we weren't jumping off the bridge on Brentsville Road into the run, then we were up a couple of hundred feet, where the rope swing hung against a rock face.  The thing I learned from this rope swing was committment.  It was all about grabbing the rope and committing to landing in the water.  You had to visualize your self dropping the 20 feet, so that once you grabbed the rope and lifted your feet you knew how it was going to end.  The kids who got into trouble (meaning bruises, and even cuts) were the ones who swung out, and then decided to ride the rope back in.  Not good.  You didn't come back where you had taken off.  You came back against the rocks, where you physically paid for your lack of committment.  And it could be brutal.

I love metaphors from the laws of nature.  After all, aren't we connected to our world in both tangible and intangible ways?  Patterns repeat.  Lessons are found in molecules and atoms that have to do with our lives.

7 comments

Connie | July 2, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Huck Finn never had it so good!
This metaphor reminds me of what you're doing right now. You've grabbed the rope of education, lifted your feet and you know right where you're going to land. I'm so proud of your accomplishments! I don't mean to sound like a mother, just a friend who is influenced by your example.

misssrobin | July 3, 2010 at 1:47 AM

I think I lost my rope.

TechnoBabe | July 3, 2010 at 10:01 AM

This is truly a good description of making a commitment and be willing to follow through. As in so much in life, skimming back to the beginning, or being wishy washy in something only causes bruises, either physical or emotional, but they can hurt.

Rachel Cotterill | July 3, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I blogged about this in the context of skiing... must have been over a year ago, now! But it's very true, in so many areas of life.

Lara | July 3, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Also a good lesson on how fear holds us back and hurts us more than we realize. :)

Always love your deep thoughts.

Kimberly | July 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Wow, what a poignant metaphor that is too. I'm feeling thoughtful now...

Luann | July 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I love this story, and the metaphor is so very true. Sometimes there's just no going back on something you've started.