A Special Connection

Sam - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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As my family hiked down the sandy path on the western end of the Grand Canyon, we were more than relieved to have our destination in sight. Towering, two hundred foot crystal clear waterfalls loomed below us. The journey up to that point had been all on us; it was our feet which kept us going, our sturdy mind and concentration which kept us on the narrow path two thousand feet in the air. Now we began on the rugged, steepest path marked “Mooney Falls”, merely feet away from the waterfalls precipice.

As we peered over the edge, long gone was the gradually declining, government funded national park trail. Chains ran down a two hundred foot wall, bolted in by iron rods. And it is a vertical drop. My mind raced as I recalled rappelling waterfalls in Mexico, with elaborate safety harnesses and belts securing you to the wall. Now, as my right hand gripped the warm metal, I was doing it all but with no safety gear. I was riding a belt less roller coaster. I latched my left hand on the chain, then clung my two feet successfully on a nearby ledge. And I began. Right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot, right, left, right, left. I never once looked down, only at where my life would be holding on next. Right, left, right, left, right, left, pause, again. And splash. The warmest sound ever as the crisp mountain water rushed between my toes. I had made it.

I looked up at what had been conquered. What had possibly helped me safely down in one piece? But this time I did not think of my concentration, mind, and effort. Instead I stared directly at the rusty chains and rods bolted into the canyon. It was then, at that moment, that I realized exactly what I believe in.

I believe in trust. Trust that a decrepit, weather-worn scrap of corroded metal will keep me alive. I trusted a non-living object with no thoughts, not even the slightest feeling of assistance. Trust can be found in all shapes and sizes, colors, and sounds. It is not a “thing” or idea; it was on that steaming morning that I realized trust is a connection. A connection which keeps two tied as one. If one fails, both fail. If I would have fallen that day, then the chains and the rods would have been ripped out of the mountain. But I did not. Because I had trust.