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.