Such a wondrous sight, and all of us kids gathered around; mouths agape and eyes wide open, in awe of our yuletide tree. The last of the ornamentation to be placed directly at the top, showcased by red, green, and silver balls, immersed in the soft glow of twinkling lights. . .twinkling lights. . .
"Oh!, my head; what have I gotten myself into this time!" The sun glared off the snowy cliffs that surrounded me. The air was still, but cool. Chickadees chirped from a tall pine, and I lay here. How long I wondered? I might be able to answer that question if the clanging pain in my head would stop. It must be early afternoon. I went hiking. I rose early, five o'clock, breakfasted, then went hiking. Was it today; yesterday? I went hiking, and the snow gave way under my foot. I grabbed for the sturdy maple branch, but it was too late. I slid, and I tumbled, and I rolled. This has never happened before! I'd better head back, there's plenty of light left. A hot cup of coffee, and a rest, in a cozy, warm bed and I'll be fine. The shrill cry of an eagle echoed down from the blue skies. Well that's it then, I'll just head back. Where? Where?
I propped myself up on my elbows, and as I did, the shadow of a fleeting figure skirted the trees. After I'm up I'll survey the landscape and I'll know which way to go. But having put some pressure on my right leg it became evident in a horrifying way that it was broken, and that I would not be going anywhere; even if I knew which direction was home. I've had a bad fall, and probably a concussion. It's affecting my brain, and my leg is broken. Now what? "Come out from under those balsams, show yourself. I can see you creeping around!" The wolf dashed out, leaped onto a rock
When I was eight, I received a fine pair of roller skates. What a glorious gift, even if I had to wait until Spring to try them out. The sidewalks of Chicago layered fast with snow during the windy winters, but come April, the poured concrete gave way to miles and miles of endless roller skating highway. I'd start out gliding fast, faster, picking up speed. Then roll ... Left foot, right, and roll! The wheels would make a clicking sound every time I'd go over the cracks in between the concrete slabs. The sound was reminiscent of a train in motion. No one could stop me now, no one. . .
I awoke in a frightful fit. I'm buried alive! am I alive? I found myself within an enclosure; layers of tree boughs covered my frame like a coccoon. Atop that, was a hard crusting of snow. I flailed my arms and broke through. The first rays of the eastern sky warmed my face. I peered over the edge expecting to see footprints. Perhaps they were gathering wood for a fire. I called out, but no one answered. How kindly they were to have laid these protective branches upon me as I slept. But why didn't they wake me, to help me to their camp?
My eyes scanned the fresh snow around me. There were tracks, and as I raised my head, I looked into the eyes of the creature that made them. "It's you?" The wolf's eyes narrowed, her mouth opened to pant. She appeared to be smiling. Something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. There on the ground to the left of me, lay a slightly crystallized liver. "Take your liver and go." After emitting a rumbling growl, the wolf took a few steps forward and urinated. She was indeed a female. She trotted towards me, extended her front legs, and bowed in the classic play pose. "I have a broken leg, I can't play with you!" She didn't seem to care one way or another, and took off after something in the woods.
The fresh evening's snow melted slowly in my mouth. The grumbling in my stomach reminded me of my hunger. I shook my head as I looked at the liver, NO! I have to splint this leg. Reaching for two of my coccoon branches, I tied one on each side of my leg with my shirtsleeves. The reinforcement and straightening caused much pain. I was sweating, this dull headache would not leave. The earth began to spin, the clouds circled the snowy ground. I tried to focus my vision, I tried. . .
8/16/96, Brookfield Zoo; a 3 year old boy falls into the gorilla enclosure and loses consciousness. Binti Jua, a female lowland gorilla cradles him in her arm, while her own 17 month old baby is on her back. She carries the boy 60 feet to an entrance where zoo keepers could retrieve him.
slooooowwwww. . . . .
slow down to a crawl.
slow as molasses,
slow as the day is long.
grand canyon deep.
open your eyes,
really see what's around you.
"watch for us."
like a tortoise,
or a snail.
take your time.
take it easy.
s l o w d o w n !
are chasing will come around and
catch you." John De Paola
So, this is what the slow lane is about, I realized. Sipping and savoring tiny moments, stopping the clock and slipping out of time, feeling my own heart begin to synchronize with the rhythms of nature and being in the presence of the sacred."