The Swing at the End of the World - Casa del Arbor - On Doing the Things that Make Your Legs Shake


Up in the mountains outside of Baños, Ecuador is a treehouse that holds a swing. This swing was built in such a way that when you lift your legs and swing into the air, you do so over no ground. Yes, that’s right. The swing at the end of the world is just that – a swing that propels you out over the open expanse of air above a steep sloping mountain. For fun.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get on it. Adventure isn’t something that comes easily to me… not when it involves heights, dangling legs, and an Ecuadorian man wanting to push you on a swing so it will go even higher. Those things just aren’t natural at the core of who I am. My father literally bribed me with a walkman when I was a kid to get on a fairly-tame amusement park ride… and I said no. It takes a lot for me to throw caution to the wind and try something like the swing at the end of the world.

It takes a lot for me to take a chance on doing something outside of my comfort zone.

But when it’s there, staring you in the face…
When you know you may never be standing in that same spot again…
When you feel a stirring in your spirit to just take that step and try…

Then, in that moment – with the beauty of mountains and a great blue sky before you; with the wonder of being in a new place and seeing how far you’ve grown from that you of the past; with your heart pounding a little faster and your head quieting until all you hear are your own breaths being pulled in and out – in that moment, you decide.

And in that moment, I did.

I claimed the seat. I secured the rope. I walked my feet back, one step at a time, and then I slowly, carefully lifted them up.

And my feet dangled over a drop that felt enormous. And my heart pounded. And my mind was a blank.

I soared.