Upside down, arms up (or down, depending on how you look at it), smile at the ready.
Did I mention his fear of heights?
Yes, before this shot, No. 1 son was still one to avoid stairs without backing and escalators that rose too high.
Was it an adventure trip to Costa Rica that made the difference?
It sure helped.
By the time he got to this point, hanging upside down thousands of feet up a Costa Rican rainforest mountain, he was so out of his normal element that trusting in providence, life, the moment—seemed a natural choice.
I like to call it wild abandon.
Abandon has gotten a bad rap through the years. Touted in literature as the poor choice of women who fall into ill repute, men who gamble their fortunes away, families who fall to ruin—abandon is seen as reckless, feckless, the choice of the weak-willed.
I’ll have none of it.
Instead, courtesy of Merriam-Webster, “To give (oneself) over unrestrainedly.”
Ah, that’s more like it.
Not a character flaw or a lack. A choice.
A choice to give yourself over to whatever powerful force has presented itself to you and whispered, “Trust me. Follow me. Adventures await.”
Do you see the look on his face, folks? He is giving himself over to cruising upside down on a tiny line high above beauty like he had never seen, trusting in the life force that got him there and will get him across the chasm over which he hangs.
I love it when my kids best me.
A ninny from birth, when I see fearlessness in them, I applaud.
I cry sometimes, too, truth be told. I love that I am not passing on my own weaknesses to them.
Remember in first grade when the teacher asked who could draw like Picasso? A thousand hands went up instantaneously. We don’t do that anymore, do we? There is no abandon in our response; it is tempered. Look at the face of the boy pushing that mower for the first time. It says, “Like a boss.” Abandon makes it so.
You see abandon on faces of parents with children on roller coasters, dancers lost in the dance, teens ziplining over a crevasse in Costa Rica.
I wish to see it on the faces of my coworkers, inspired to create something that has not been done before.
On teachers’ faces when they wax eloquent and passionate about whatever turns them on—chemistry, drama, history.
On a lover’s face when he tells me how much I mean to him.
On a child’s face when attempting to ride that bike without training wheels, polish off that ice cream cone, win the sack race.
I do not believe abandon has abandoned any of us. I think it awaits. We cannot summon it by will, but rather only by putting ourselves so out of our element that we forget the concept of a self. We are one with the world, with the ride, with the dance, with the passion.
Abandon awaits us, friend. Let go with both hands and enjoy the ride.
This post and the couple preceding it are my answer to a challenge by elizabeth2560, who writes the blog Almost Spring. An honest, thoughtful blogger, she challenged me to write five posts based on photographs. This is my third. I’ve not done it in five days, as she asked, but am hoping wild abandon takes over and we fly through the rest.