Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Zip, Zip, Away

We wanted to celebrate the end of summer as a family, with a bang.  I proposed canoeing. 

Caleb shot me down.  He said he wanted "variety" in his summer.  Canoeing had already been done.  (So yesterday, mom!)

I'm not sure who first suggested zip-lining, but the word spread like wildfire through the home.  A chorus of boys couldn't say "yes" fast or often enough.  Now, when does that happen?  They can't even agree on breakfast cereal!

Being that we have little ones, I researched zip-line establishments that would accept pint-sized passengers.  I found a zip-line business about an hour away that allowed riders over 50 pounds.  Quickly, I ushered the boys to the bathroom scale.  The three oldest fit the bill with Cooper squeaking in at 53 pounds!  Collin was too light which was just fine with him.  (After last week's fair ride terror, Collin prefers to play the role of spectator with two feet firmly on the ground at all times!)

We loaded the boys in the car and to the trek down to southern Indiana.  After an hour commute, we found ourselves deep in the woods getting sized for helmets and climbing gear.

Fully outfitted, Bree, our zip-line guide, loaded our crew into her open-aired, truckish-like thing.  She transported us up (up is the key word!) through the woods, finally stopping where the hill plateaued.

It was a Monday and business was sparse.  We appeared to be the only ones in the woods and there was a peacefulness that came from being one with the squirrels.

Bree delivered instructions.  She said this zip-line began with a running start...straight off a hillside. Then, thanks to gravity and some help from Bree, we'd float back to the same spot.   We were to channel our inner "Peter Pan" or (for me) "Tinker Bell."  

Cooper begged to be first.  Always fearless, that one!  After he was suited up, I watched my little guy sprint off the hillside and then sail through the air.  He returned beaming and giggly, desperate to go again.

And so it went, boy after boy.  Then my husband.  Then me.

For over an hour, I had watched each boy jump off that incline without an ounce of fear, but once my turn came up I began to sweat.  Can a person really just jump off a hill and not wonder if this (seemingly) little line will snap?

That's when I started to think about faith, how much faith I had in this line, this guide, this business without knowing one bit about any of them.  Why is religious faith such a hard concept for people when we put faith in so many other things that have never be tested or proved reliable?  (soapbox moment!)

It's a weird feeling to purely run off a hill.  Bree suggested I clutch my safety harness.  She said many people feel safer holding the straps.  I grabbed the attached ropes and instantly felt calmer.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps it's that feeling of having a bit of control when rationally I knew placing my hands on the straps did not one single thing to aid safety.  (Hmm...can I think of any other times in my life when I try to grab on to things erroneously thinking they'll provide safety or comfort?)

Taking a deep breath, I dashed off the hill instantly feeling every bit like Tinker Bell.  It was magical.  I gazed down at the underlying lush forest.  It was view not to be replicated any other way other than dangling in the air off a hillside.  

Before I had a chance to panic, I was back on land wishing I was back in the air.

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