I am so looking forward to this year’s family vacation. Another wild foray into the woods, where we get to mellow out and renew our spirits, enjoy each other’s company and have fun. In some years the vacation arrangements work well — lots of exciting things to do and see, lots of adventure. In other years we have to work much harder to find fun and interesting things to do in the vacation destination. Great or not so great, the memories are still fun to mull over and revisit at any time of the year.
I remember a moment of terror. I sat on a rock in the stream in a National Park. (I don’t even remember which one. My first husband will remember.) I was cooling my feet after finishing a hot hike through the woods, enjoying watching the kids frolic and swim. Too old to put my bathing suit on in the car and “swim” in the knee deep rocky water, I contented myself with lowering my body temperature through my feet, splashing my family and vicarious swimming through my children. Abigail was floating around me, lying back in the water, relishing the coolness of the fresh mountain water and I snapped a photo of her.
Suddenly I was gripped with wordless terror – a snake was swimming right next to her! I did not want to shout and alarm her lest she move suddenly and the snake decide to strike. As calmly as I could, I called her name and told her to sit up. I took her hand and led her out of the water. The riverbank was only about 10 steps away. When we were safely there I told everyone I had seen a snake. It was probably harmless, but it was right near Abigail. “Just in case,” I urged, “Let’s not go back in the water.” Everyone protested, not quite finished with their refreshing exploration of the stream. No one else had seen it and no one was sure they believed me.
Those were the good old days — when pictures were not digital and more importantly they were not instant. When we got home we sent our film out to be developed. A few weeks later we got it back and flipped through the candids of family fun and the breathtaking shots of beautiful scenery. And then I caught my breath with a quite different emotion: Low and behold: I had not been exaggerating.
With Abigail’s eyes closed, the snake wrapped around her neck looks even more lethal than when I saw it LIVE in my moment of terror. And it was nice of the snake to stick out his forked tongue for the picture. It heightens the re-living of the tension.
See, I wasn’t exaggerating.
Some adventures bring a shiver down the spine just remembering.
© Jane F. Collen June 15, 2016 IndexCardCure. step into nature.