The old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence. (attributed to Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief; source)
I must have touched a nerve somewhere; I was attacked. Not in the physical form, but in my soul. I should have recognized something was not right. Everything was okay on the way down to Draper Lake, but once there, a memory drifted up that made me just a little hostile. As I was trying to chase down the threads, an overwhelming sweet smell from the woods hit me. It was a real distraction — white blossoms on a tree I can’t name for you, with a heavy fragrance that is very arresting.
A short time later some minor inconvenience set me off. That’s not at all normal; I usually joke with myself out loud, but this time I was furious. It didn’t matter what it was because it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I should have known this kind of thing was lurking in the shadows. Stuff I’ve written lately was not easy to write, not easy to publish. But it was necessary.
I stopped at one of the picnic tables along the shore and took the risk of biting sand flies so I could take a moment in the quiet natural environment. I can’t afford a hardening of the heart; I needed a taste of nature. Those rocky shallows tempted me to take off my shoes and wade for awhile. However, I just barely avoided getting eaten alive; the wind was my only ally at that moment. I removed my riding helmet and prayed for awhile in that quiet spot on the shore.
If you stick with me on this stuff I’m trying to address, I suspect some of you will face some tough moments, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.