Those legs are mine, and they're trembling. I was standing as close as I 'comfortably' could to a sheer drop-off into the void, and into the valley hundreds of meters below below. I'm afraid of heights, my friends. In fact, I'm afraid of *other people's* heights. I get the same uneasy queasiness in my stomach even when I myself am sitting on safe and sound ground and I'm just watching someone else high up. And when that someone else is part of my own family? Well, in my scale of irrational fear of heights, that's close to panic for me.
So last weekend, watching Tom and the boys climbing high on perfectly vertical cliffs (in total safety, of course, but as I said, I'm afraid of heights, and not of improbably faulty climbing gear) got some real adrenaline going.
Living on a cliff means that those beautiful wide rock walls that in our landscape emerge white from the dark-green woods and stand-out brilliant against the sky, are in fact a climbers' paradise. A paradise the men in this family are discovering, since becoming passionate rock-climbers this summer.
The rock walls are indeed beautiful when you see them up close, as opposed to seeing them from the road below while zipping by in a car, as I've done for years. This place (above) had a beautiful texture, but wasn't good for climbing, apparently. Probably not vertical enough.
This was was the place.
You've got to appreciate rock-climbing for the little gear required: rope, harness, chalk, (shared) shoes, carabiners - that's about it. I suppose things could be worse. The men in this family could, for instance, have become passionate about paragliding down from these very cliffs. And that would have involved heights and big gear.
Here we go - husband.
And seventeen-year-old boy, my first baby.
And my fifteen-year-old baby boy.
Those are the men in our family, in their suspended element, estatically climbing high up for hours at a time. It does look both beautiful and impressive in photos, and it did in person too (especially the part when they glid downward to safer grounds). If only I could have forgotten my fear of heights.
Of course, I'd brought yarn and needles on this all-afternoon adventure. But the whole time, my palms were too sweaty to knit.