|A much younger me looking "over the edge"
I can remember when I was on the edge of a cliff hanging on for dear life. Well, it was really the periphery of a steep mountain... and I was in a Jeep... but I was scared to death. All I could think was, "Please don't let me die!" Thinking back I can now see that I was very much in the moment. I prayed. My short adventurous life (sort of) flashed before me. But I also learned a little about myself. I survived.
|Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
First of all, the dirt path up the mountain was extremely narrow. There was only enough room for the Jeep. When half-naked people on horseback came by, we were able to stop and let them get around us. It was a tight squeeze, though. After I recovered from the reality shock, I found myself wondering what would happen if a vehicle tried to pass.
|The mystery Jeep (minus the driver)
Big smile. "Let's just hope that doesn't happen."
Roll of my eyes. "You know, I value my life!" I shouted. I was white-knuckling it as I held on for dear life. My carefully manicured fingernails were leaving half-moon indentions in my palms.
Fits of laughter. "Me, too."
|The beach suits me fine, thank you very much
Suddenly I had a flashback to the time my wild and crazy cousin picked me up from the Bush International Airport in Houston. He had parked at the top of a parking garage. The only way down was a spiral exit ramp. It reminded me of sliding down a fire pole. My cousin was a fireman, but this was no pole. Yet he was driving down the ramp as if rushing to get to a four-alarm fire in time. He was looking at me out of the corner of his eyes, laughing the same way my friend in the Jeep laughed. Up, down, all around- my mind was a top. Was I losing it? Was my life starting to flash before me? HELP!
Suddenly I was wakened from my reverie when the Jeep came to a screeching halt. We had arrived at the chosen destination in the mountainous jungle outside of Puerto Vallarta. With the wobbly legs of a newborn calf, I stepped out of the Jeep and said a silent prayer of thanks. I was on solid ground at last.
|I wanted to nap like this guy
I guess that's what happens when you are living on the edge, push through and come out the other side. There is not much time for thinking of anything other than the situation. You have racing thoughts from the past. You pray like there's no tomorrow. When you make it through, gratitude runs through your body like a wave of ecstasy. A childlike innocence returns because you survived the roller coaster ride.
|A local (to the right) near the river
|Our little "oasis" in the midst of it all
|Movie prop from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Predator
Published here on 9/25/11 for language/place carnival, issue #10 hosted by Sheree Mack at Everyday Creativity 3