Wednesday, August 14, 2013
there are heroes on the trail
This summer, my husband and I spent alot of time trudging up mountains and hiking along wooded paths,getting ready for our pilgrimage in September.None of it was easy but I took heart when I saw some others on the path.A man whose stroke has caused him to drag his left foot pitifully behind him when he walks and a woman hiking with a cane.In my view they are special, strong and determined older folks.They inspired me.
And then there was this:we hiked at North Lake in the Catskills with my oldest son and his family.It's a short hike but very steep but the view of the Hudson River Valley and the river itself way in the distance is breath-taking.On the way up to the top, the kids spied a black bear but I didn't see it.They were pretty excited,me,not so much.
On the way down, I looked ahead and saw my son stopped on the trail.He called back that the huge beast was coming up the hill to the trail and would be between us very soon.I felt this might be dangerous, so I blew my very shrill trail whistle and heard the sound of something huge crashing through the woods to my left.I saw the bear's back side which was the size of a small truck and I was terrified.Happily, he was going away from us.
When I turned around there was my son coming up the trail towards.Seeing him was such a relief; my husband and I were not alone with the bear.He later told us that he planned to run at the bear and hit him with his shoulder.I am beyond glad that this didn't have to happen.
When my dear son was two years old, he used to ride his Big Wheel down our drive way into the garage.Over and over, he would crash down at a fast pace with a smile the size of Texas on his face.When he went skiing as a teenager,word came back that he had raced down the course with no poles and that same smile.Twice in the intervening years, I have found myself in a sad situation,once at Edisto and another at St.Augustine. To hear this son's voice saying that he's coming to get me, always made me breathe easier.
The silver haired woman is being wheeled back to her room in 2005,
after minor heart surgery.She is frrightened.At the foot of her bed is a tall,good-looking young man with tears in his eyes and flowers in his hand."Hi Mom," he says,"are you O.K.?"He is her son,her hero.