Thursday, September 23, 2010

Left Dangling

An acquaintance of mine in Magnolia was an avid bow hunter. He liked to go deep into the woods around the Dorcheat Bayou during bow season, climb a high tree in a good location and wait for the big buck to appear.

Once in the ‘80s he was doing his thing down in the most remote area of the bayou bottoms, having climbed a giant white oak. He thought he saw something move about a hundred yards away on the other side of his tree. As he was leaning out to get a better view, he slipped off his perch and dangled on the safety rope.

He didn’t have the strength to climb the rope and he could not swing himself back to the limb he had slipped from. He could, however, swing really close to another limb, and he thought he could swing out, cut the rope and grab that limb. After a little rehearsal, he performed the act. The knife didn’t cut through the rope as quickly as he anticipated and he missed the mark, falling a long way down to the forest floor.

The hunter was unconscious for awhile, and when he came to, he discovered that he was badly injured. The way I remember the report, he couldn’t walk and he was having abdominal and chest distress. He was out there in the middle of nowhere for a long time. Fortunately, his son-in-law knew that he was hunting near the Dorcheat. When he didn’t come home when expected, the son-in-law went searching, found his vehicle and tracked him as well as he could. He located him just in time and got him the treatment he needed. Apparently the man is fine now.

I hadn’t thought of that event in years, but I pondered that man’s state of mind there in his helpless condition this morning. You see, I had a troubling dream. I was in an apartment similar to one we lived in at Westerville, Ohio, except in my dream, the place was 20 stories high. I dreamed I was out on the small concrete patio overlooking a parking lot and facing another building. For some reason, I wondered if I could stand on the railing and get to the little patio on other building. Being a tall person, I thought I probably could. So, I risked it, and, sure enough, I had my hands on the railing of the facing patio and my feet on my own patio. But I was stuck. I couldn’t go one way or the other. The only way to go was down. Twenty stories down.

I knew I would have to make a move soon because my strength was failing. The only plan that formed in my dream was to push off with my feet and go on to the other patio. I don’t know how I came out, because the next thing I knew, I was eating breakfast in the safety of my own house in the woods in Arkansas!

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