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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Upon this Rock

The temperature was dropping into the single digits.  The wind was howling white.  The stars and their crescent queen shone weakly through a slash in the clouds.  There appeared to be more light coming from the glowing snow than the frozen sky.  For anyone fool enough to be out, exposed skin burned, eyes watered, breath froze.

i was in my element.  i stood at the highest peak of carcass basin and flabbergasped.  i had ascended to the edge of the precipice to test my courage against another drop into the basin itself.  Each descent was a near death experience.  A falling sensation, numbness, all going white, then there was a thump, temporal pain and fear followed by an out of body moment.  It was as if one was rising above the earth, weightless, a spirit free from both the mundane and the profane.  Then tumbling, smashing, crashing down again and there you are, in your sore, battered body again, gasping for air.  Not a run to be taken lightly.

That's what i had climbed here to do but before i could throw sled and body over the edge.  The wind took me.  It came blasting across the snow shrouded wastes, broken only by huddled and shivering houses.  Which is to say, laughing at man's foolishness.  It struck me and roared on and i was inside it and there was nothing to do but laugh with it.  It brought my head up to see the stars which seemed to have come closer, it pulled my head down to view Elwood station in it's entirety.  From fricken coop to mailbox and all trees in between.  Lit up like some ship in the dark sea, alight but only seeming to emphasize it's frailty before the infinite.  Beautiful, yet ridiculous.  All my earthly labor lay before me and i was not proud.  My mind and eyes ran to my sons.  One seeking shelter within my earthly labor, shunning our mad company and the other struggling to join me atop the hill.  i saw their differences.  i saw how one made my job easier by seeking me and the other made me seek him.  And yet deeper was my wife who was not even foolish enough to attempt our idea of fun.  What must i do to reach her?  How can i express this mad joy?  Not at the falling but at the elements forcing me to admit that i am not the center of the universe and yet i am a cherished member of it: a son who sometimes seeks and sometimes must be sought.  This glimpse of both my proper perspective before God and How he must see me at times.  In this momentary revelation i wondered at tomorrow.  Should i call another snow day and stay home or go to work?  Believe it or not, that was a hard decision that had been left utterly to me.  Mundane, Profane, Insane and Sacred all swirled in that wind.

Happ finally crested the hill and asked me what i was doing still standing there.  So i told him all the things that i had thought of, alas without the poetry of recollection.  

"That's a lot to think about in five minutes,"  He remarked.

"When you're an adult you have to do your thinking when you get the chance.  Cause most of the time people will be telling you what to think."  He merely hummed at this.  i don't know if he was thinking that adulthood sucks or that i'm terribly cynical.  "Most of all," i added, "i thought that the stars looked so close that i felt closer to God and then i remembered that He's not up there, He's here... with us.  And He wants to go for another run."  And i threw body and sled over the precipice.

Now i'm sure that the rock had lay under the snow there all along.  Yet somehow, despite our tracks being all around it, we had yet to uncover it's lurking dorsal ridge.  On this run however, my near death experience came a little nearer and i found myself, abruptly halted mid run, holding the sled by it's one remaining handle, the other being torn out by the impact and laying on my back, listening to the wind overhead and the snickering stars.

"Perhaps i heard wrong.  i think He may want to go inside and see what Mom and Rascal are up to."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an absolutly great piece of writing Son. It gave me a sense of being there with you and Happ. I would have loved to have gone over the precipice with you.

Dad