The swing…

…at the end of the world.

On a mountain, above a sleepy town nestled in the mist of the Andes laying in the shadow of a volcano, waits a man. He listens to wind, feels the restless earth, and is every watchful of the volcano, a constant guardian of the city and a very special swing.

Dangling from La Casa Del Arbol, a house in the only tree on the mountaintop, is the swing at the end of the world. Travelers have been known to come, from far and wide, to swing over the edge and see what their destiny holds. Whether it is the thin mountain air or the rush of going over the edge, many have left the mountain changed.

Carlos, the volcano watcher, never swings. He sweeps the grounds, herds his two cows, has family visit once a week, but he never swings. He smiles at the weary travelers, as they appear out of the mist and then dissolve once more into the quiet countryside, but he never swings.

The travelers donate what little they have to help maintain the swing of their dreams, that others may come, as they have, to see into their futures. Carlos replaces nails, tightens loose rope, and checks the foundations of La Casa Del Arbol, but he never swings.

Carlos talks about his life living on the mountain watching the volcano above Baños Ecuador. His family visits him once a week (on sundays) but other than that his everyday company are his two cats, two cows and the tourists that float through. Photo: Alex Washburn

Carlos talks about his life living on the mountain watching the volcano above Baños Ecuador. His family visits him once a week (on sundays) but other than that his everyday company are his two cats, two cows and the tourists that float through. Photo: Alex Washburn

Occasionally he will talk to one of the travelers. He tells of the volcano and of the house, but rarely of the swing. To those he likes, he invites them to leave a message in his journal, for the lonely hours he spends on the mountain, watching the volcano, but he never swings.

For those who will come and those that have gone, their paths were their own. But for Carlos, he is the watcher of the volcano and the guardian of the swing at the end of the world. That is all he needs to know. So let others come and swing, he is fine smiling and watching and guarding.

(The above is just a fictional interpretation of Casa Del Arbol, feelings that I had while we were there. Carlos is real, he is the old man that watches the volcano and signals others if there is activity. He does have a book he invites some to write a message in for the long hours on the mountain and his family does only come once a week to visit him. He is the guardian of the swing at the end of the world. –Nathaniel)

13 Comments on “The swing…

  1. Truly, truly beautiful. And, Nathaniel, did you get glimpses of your destiny, while swinging on the swing?

    • Hey Herb!
      I think I got glimpses of more travel in my future :). Ecuador is significantly cheaper than Costa Rica, and I think I see a trip in your future. Thanks for keeping up with us.

      Cheers.

      • Hi Nathaniel & Alex,
        I must have sent the swing to everyone I know! That was extraordinary! We are having so much fun traveling with you, my cousin! 😀 I’m sending a note for Dixie, because she won’t subscribe to anything, but she is following you guys and has read every post. 🙂 So here’s Dixie’s comment:
        Hello Dear Nathaniel and Alex….You both are giving me so much delight in reading your journal , seeing the beautiful pictures you have been taking, and tasting the foods through your savory words …..I look forward to each new place you visit, and then share with all of us ….The video of the Swing is beautiful… Thanks Alex for taking the video of Nathaniel…It has been many years since we have seen our cute cousin……….Take Care you two, Love Cousin Dixie ……Love the background music on the Swing video.
        Keep enjoying life! You both are totally awesome!
        Clarice & Jeannie

      • Clarice,
        I am so glad you are following the trip! And that Dixie is enjoying it to. It makes it all worth while to know family back home get to experience it with us.

  2. Really beautifully written post and video. Thanks for taking the time to share this experience guys!

      • I’ve been following you guys since the start! – really proud and happy that you guys are doing this. Looking forward to seeing you guys when you’re back.

  3. Hey you two,
    I to have enjoyed every detail of your adventure. Fell in love with the story of Carlos and the swing. Stay safe
    Love ya lots——————-tienga un buen dia———-Uncle Mark

    • Hey Uncle Mark-

      So glad you are following along and enjoying our adventures! The swing at the edge of the world was a pretty unique place, and one of the top experiences of the trip for me. Trying to stay safe.

      Take care,
      Nathaniel

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