Monday, July 9, 2012

Young and Foolish

Cooling off and doing OK


I have had my "moments" in life.  I have taken chances, not all good, but few that I regret.  I look at what did not work out as a life lesson and although I sometimes question myself about some of them, they are in the past and c'est la vie.   I can say though, that I never did anything where I knowingly put my life in jeopardy.  I am a coward, yellow to the core, and a scardy cat when I think harm could come to me.  Survival is my middle name.


I thought I raised my children that way and that they would never put themselves in a situation where one of the outcomes could be to break their mother's heart.  Yes, I used guilt to persuade them to be careful and I am not ashamed of it.  My family is now grown and through conversations I hear from them now, taking my advice was not always the case.  It seems they all pushed the danger button on some occasions, and I am so thankful everything turned out OK and also that I knew nothing about it at the time. 


In the summer and fall, we often go to this small town named St. Peter's Village to enjoy a walk through the woods and take in all the ambiance that this lovely place has to offer.  The town is known for their large boulders that line the stream that runs through the town. For a hundred years it was an iron mine and granite quarry area,  closing down in the mid to late 20th century.  It is now just a local tourist attraction.  Kids have a great time jumping on the rocks or swimming in the water.  It is refreshing watching the young generation doing something other than playing on an electronic device.
File:St Peters PA Boulders.jpg

However, there is also a sport that has been played out for more decades than I have been around.  It has become a rite of passage for the youth of the area.  It is called "jumping  the cliffs" and no matter the warnings, no matter the signs, no matter how many are hurt  and on some occasions, killed, this summer tradition goes on.  Yesterday, we again witnessed this ritual.  There is always an audience watching, cheering them on and encouraging this behavior.  I have been known to scream out to them "Does your mother know what you are doing?"   Needless to say, my words are not appreciated.



They jump from the top right side.






It is a 100 foot drop at it's highest peak.













No, I am not sorry I did not try this when I was young.  It is fascinating though to see this played out for generation after generation.  There is no fear in youth and little thought to consequences, just the joy and spirit of thinking they will live forever.  As much as I consider this dangerous, I can remember the times and the feeling of wanting an adventure and having that zest for life. 
How about you; did you have a great adventure or a rite of passage experience?  Me, I just got married and well, that could be more dangerous than a 500 foot drop.

22 comments:

  1. Arleen, I am sure in some respects I pushed the envelop, but I didn't do anything that really ever put me in real danger. I had a sibling who not only pushed that envelop, he exploded it. It was a little difficult for me to get by with too much. I laughed out loud when I read of your screaming "does your mother know.....". Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful spot. No way would I have done that. I can just feel the water pushing up his nose just looking at the second to last photo.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I grew up near Midwest limestone quarries. Stuff like that went on, but I never saw it. My sights were firmly set on college and an illustrious future (ah, the dreams of the young *rolls eyes*) and that type of thing never appealed to me. I've had plenty of adventures, but more from sheer dumb luck than a daredevil spirit.
    Those pics are really scary!

    ReplyDelete
  4. At school I used to make small bombs, and use them to blow up trees. A miracle I wasn't blown up too! Have you seen the film 'Breaking away'? There are scenes very much like the above; it's also a very good rainy Sunday afternoon film.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kids in our communal garden used to jump off an overhanging tree branch about ten feet off the ground. I once watched my daughter do this when she was 9 or 10 and I wondered whether to stop her. But it was a rite of passage among the kids so I just held my breath and watched with my heart in my mouth. I wouldn't have stood by if it was 100 ft in water though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What amazing photos! I would also be scared to death! We did other stupid things like driving off with boys we just met, or walking through the cornfields late at night. I would be terrified if I had a daughter who did those things now. We were so lucky. Julie

    ReplyDelete
  7. I did silly things like wandering around Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto at midnight with a girlfriend and driving home from Barrie in the midst of a raging snowstorm when I should have stayed put.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is toooo funny! (As long as your not the mother of one of these dare-devils, seeing this picture for the first time!)
    Yep. I guess each generation has it's own rite of passage. But when we enter into middle adulthood, the memory fades drastically and fearfulness for life and limb takes over. A good thing! And I agree----marriage-- and child rearing are 2 of the most dangerous decisions we'll ever make!

    ReplyDelete
  9. No kid of mine...oh, wait. One daughter broke her arm jumping from heights, the other camped on an island accessed by several canoe trips to ferry people and supplies--regardless of weather. Then there were the hunded stitches in my leg from falling out of a tree. But I would never have done this..I think.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful place!

    As a teenager we jumped from Taylors Falls, WI. I'm glad I did it then, as I could never do it now!

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love those rock! But, uh, no . . . i couldn't take a leap like that. Just thinking about it makes me go all jello-ish. Great shots, though, and it's so true what you said about getting the kids off their electronic devices.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hello! blog-hopped my way here, and your paragraph at the top caught my attention! It could have poured from my pen too. Its not that i am not brave= in certain situations i have the courage of a lion. but I have the voice of common sense always whispering in my ear... Those young people are certainly brave- but its the bravery of youth i think- thst feeling that you are invincible, unstoppable, that look out world bravado that sometimes leads them astray! The rocks and the water do look beautiful though!

    blessings,

    Leanne x
    talesofsimpledays.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Arleen, I think you are so right about young people not having a fear of death. They simply don't think the possibility of dying applies to them.

    The only thing I ever did was accept a ride with an older student at our school who offered to drive me home to our house in the country. He must have been traveling 85 or more miles an hour. I was so scared. And yet, because I had a "crush" on him, I would have gotten in that car again--if he'd ever asked me! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I took a lot of risks as a young person, but luckily, I had a whole host of guardian angels taking care of me. Never jumped off a high cliff into deep water, though, because I'm not a strong enough swimmer. (Maybe if I was wearing an inner tube???) There was an abandoned quarry near us, though, where lots of teens swam. And drowned.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mad youth! I think they call it 'Tombstoning' over here. I suppose I have taken risks in my early teen years. We used to go for almost all day bike rides and bathe in the river but never ever with the intention of committing Hari Kari. Those rocks look beautiful and lethal. It probably never occurs to them how lethal they can be.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I felt my insides cringe when I looked at the young folks taking the plunge off the rocks.
    We had a hill west of town. It was a steep climb over rocks and brush. Cottonmouth and rattlesnakes were known to live there. Yet we all 'took the climb'.
    Marriage is a much bigger plunge, as you stated so well.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Used to hold on to the Highlands drawbridge in Highlands NJ until it got to the highest point, then let go into the bay (hoping not to land on the passing boats). Now I just hold onto the dash-board when my husband is driving.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is still on my to-do list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I thought that you had reached the "age of reason".

      Delete
  19. Oh dear, it does look scary, though must be a great adrenalin rush. I lived a very sheletered life. Nothing like that at all.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The things you do while you still think you're immaortal!

    ReplyDelete
  21. oh my gosh..those pictures really are so cool!!! we had cliffs like that in the abandoned coal mines and used to jump off them all the time...I would have a heart attack if my kids did what i did.

    ReplyDelete