Autuminbruges has posted a lovely song Better Days by Eddie Vedder. In the quest to find an interpretation of this music in response to this interesting challenge, I have decided to go with a somewhat literal view of the lyrics.
A few years ago, I watched a number of people trust their lives to someone they did not know who was using equipment that could have been first class quality (or not!). They were bungee jumpers at the Bloukrans River Bridge in South Africa.
These young people showed remarkable courage as they embraced the challenge that they had set for themselves. The last four verses of the song really spell out what they were about – they were planning to jump off one of the highest bridges they had probably ever seen – trusting their life to an elastic band!
Having made the decision to jump and to trust their guide (and his gear!), they then could not run away from that without losing face – not with their peers, but with themselves. Stepping up to the jump ramp, they were inevitably quiet, wondering if this was really such a great idea after all. Then a big scream as they launched into the air and realised that it was too late now to change their mind – hoping like mad that their trust in that elastic lifeline was not going to be betrayed!
This was followed by the realisation that they were free falling – nothing holding them back! Their arms went out wide to soar like a bird for just a few seconds. This must have been a very exhilarating feeling, and probably the reason why repeat jumpers come back for more!
Then it is over, and the relief of having survived creates another adrenalin rush! Will they come back for more? Talking to them afterwards, they were excited and proud that they had met their challenge, but few were keen to go back and have to work through those highly charged emotions and tensions again!
Life is like this. Every now and again, we have to make decisions about things that we think will work well, and then we take the plunge and hope that our trust will be rewarded. I was content to watch others jumping, but that rubber band was just a bit too high risk for me!
Would you be game enough to jump off this bridge?