Monday, October 8, 2012

Choosing to Fly

The zip line at Trinity Pines in Cascade starts at a height forty feet above the ground. On belay, participants use a ladder to start up the tree, then big metal staples embedded in its trunk, finally reaching a small wooden platform where they are secured to the trolley and sent on their way down the 600-foot cable. Four men worked together to keep everyone safe through the whole process -- Ray ensuring harnesses were put on safely, Steve belaying for the climb up, Brian in the tree transferring the harness connection to the cable, and Bob at the end platform helping with return again to solid ground.

I stayed for hours watching women strap into harnesses, climb the tree, step off into the air and fly. I saw them reach the end ramp, and finally heard them return to tell of the experience.

I'd forgotten how much I love the zipline. Or, more accurately, I love the ziplining, because I saw far more than just harness-climb-zip-return-harness-climb-zip-return-harness-climb-zip-return. I saw great metaphors of faith and life, and perhaps that's really at the core of why we go out of our way to do such things.

I saw the significance of transitions and decisions -- signing up and showing up and gearing up, taking the first step onto the ladder, shifting to the more vertical climb using staples, standing high above on a sturdy platform, and stepping off again to fly. Each is a new challenge, and every new challenge matters.

I saw participants experiencing fear and choosing to trust -- relying on equipment to hold them up, guides to keep them safe, peers to offer support. Fear is an important means of helping us stay safe, and taking calculated risks can be a very good thing, too.

I saw the truth lived out that "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear" (source uncertain) -- things like developing trust, testing faith, leading the way for others to follow, or simply experiencing adventure.

I saw steps of faith symbolic of other "steps" of faith which are far more significant.

I saw fun and friendship and the joy of living.

In the end, I decided to ride, too -- a ride of celebration and gratitude, a symbol of freedom and hope.


It was a great day.


Kathleen Allison said...

I have wanted to do that for years. Hopefully, someday I'll be able to. Glad you did!

Debi said...

I imagine you'd enjoy it, Kathleen.