Of Monkeys And Marriage  

 by Molly Williams   

They say in space no one can hear you scream.

I hope the same is true for 300 feet up in a Mexican jungle, flying between the mountain tops, tethered by a seat harness and hanging on for dear life. If not, I left some terrified monkeys in my wake.

After over 20 years of Mexican beach trips, I thought I knew what to expect: sunny days with my family under the palapa, foo-foo drinks in carved out fruit topped with umbrellas, haggling in the flea market if we really wanted to step out. But last year a friend with whom we frequently travel, an otherwise very predictable and fairly proper woman, suggested we go zip-lining. After more than a bit of persuading, my husband and I, our 15-year-old daughter, and my friend and her husband booked a day trip for the mysterious sounding “canopy tour.”

Although the tour company guaranteed our safety, it was considerably out of our comfort zone. The canopy in question is that of the jungle rooftop. We climbed straight up the sides of trees, on skinny slat steps, rounding through the jungle on stepping stones that took us ever higher. We were helmeted, harnessed, and wrapped in safety gear, with heavy duty leather gloves for gripping the hooks, cables, and pulleys that were the only things between us and the river winding through the rocks nearly 100 meters below. The activity leaders were expert, patient, and took every precaution. When I was finally pushed out from the safety of my tree perch, the jungle fell away behind me, the lush valley opened out before me, and my heart leapt into my throat.

It was gorgeous, wild, insanely exhilarating, and at least for me, very loud, as I didn’t even try to keep the shrieks in. Fourteen incredible swings from station to station later, we finally descended near the ground, and the adrenaline hadn’t even started to cool.  My husband, behind me, was equally pumped by our adventure. He described it well, though. He said that if he had known what it entailed, he probably wouldn’t have gone, but he was thrilled that he had.

That, to me, sums up so much. I realized that afternoon that the wildest adventure of all isn’t the excursion we sought out for vacation diversion, but the one he and I embarked upon over 20 years ago, having no idea what it would entail. When we set out on our future together, we looked forward to champagne and tuxedos, followed by setting up a merry home filled with family and friends. If someone had told us then that we would occasionally have to hold on for dear life, cursing our impetuousness and screaming into a jungle that couldn’t answer, we probably would’ve stopped in our tracks down the aisle. But we would have missed the excitement and fulfillment of saying yes to things unpredictable and out of our comfort zone.

Life together often feels like swinging free-style through the canopy. Sometimes the monkeys get terrified. But I wouldn’t have missed this adventure for the world. And even now knowing what it would entail, I would have gone.

 

 

Molly Williams
I am a semi-retired history teacher, a part-time lawyer, an optimistic writer, a contented wife, a forever mom, and a joyous and open-eyed traveler.
Visit my blog at http://inmylifebymolly.blogspot.com/

2 comments

  1. Molly, one does not know love until after one has walked down the aisle and hear the preachers words for us to repeat:: ” Until death do us part (!)”. What?!

    This was easy for Loretta and I for we had waited seven years, and for many a man it too much to say. However … I am no Tarzan of the Jungle, and in the Mexican jungle at Eden, I had no desire to swing between the jungle trees, the many times we were there.

    The lunch was great under the trees, the tree rope swing that took you out over the river pool below the lunch area was a welcome activity in the hot tropical heat, and laying in the sun on the rocks and sandy beach alongside the rushing river water suited us best.

    However, the ride of many rides was the bus and taxi rides between Eden and the main coast highway. Don’t forget that. We tried to walk it the first time we went many years ago, however like most others, we soon accepted a ride on the bus when it stopped for us and asked if we wanted a ride. Yes, yes, yes. There was no drinking water along the way!

  2. I am not so acknowledged in the Mexico marriage culture, but throughout America’s history , the start of adult life for women … whatever else might have been destined to include … had been typically marked by marriage . Since the late 19th century , the median age of first marriage for women had fluctuated between 20 and 22 years..

    Since then, the medium age for a woman’s first marriage has risen to 27.Women who eventually marry are now left with nearly a decade of single adulthood to forge their own paths professionally , romantically , and socially.

    The problem here is that single men between the ages of 20 and 27 are associated with aggressive behavior, and this is the problem with many of the Syrian male refugees poring into Europe, the United States and Mexico, and the Mexican men migrating into the United States for work..

    Historically, lifting the imperative that for centuries hustled nearly all non-enslaved women, regardless of their individual desires , ambitions, circumstance or quality of available matches, down a single path toward early heterosexual marriage and motherhood.

    Today with gay pride, modern marriages, nations are loosing the young men needed to protect the homeland , and financial stability of the nation.

    But then, tomorrow will be another day, and Tarzan may yet be heard yelling his famous war screech as he swings between the jungle trees.

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