I walked the labyrinth last night, as I said I was going to. As is my usual custom when there is no snow on the ground, I walked it barefoot. It was pretty chilly last night, and the dew had fallen, so my feet got very cold.
This reminded me of an occasion oh so many years ago when I was 9 years old and Daddy took some of us kids (maybe all of us, I don’t really remember) on a hike up to Ouzel Falls in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It was late May. Now, where we lived, which was 8414 feet in elevation, pretty much all the snow had melted. However, up at the trail head to Ouzel Falls it was quite a bit higher, and not all the snow had melted. The farther we walked up the trail the deeper the snow got, until we were trudging through aged, soft, wet drifts that soaked my boots. It was tough going in the snow, which at times was almost to my knees. I was having a hard time making way, getting very tired. Finally Daddy told me to walk in his footprints so I would not be breaking through the snow. He shortened his adult stride to make this feat possible, and we continued on for a while.
But finally, my feet got so cold I just couldn’t stand it. I was not a whiny child, but my cold feet was making it very hard for me to function. Finally I broke down in tears because of the pain of my cold feet. Right nearby there was an outcrop of rock that was all sunny, and it was also not snow covered. Dad helped me up onto the rocks and made me take my wet boots off, plus my wet socks. Miraculously, in his pack along with lunch and God knows what other emergency supplies, he had a pair of dry boot socks. He held my feet in his warm hands until they started to get some circulation back, spread my wet socks out on the rock to dry, and had me put on his dry socks. They were very large on my little girl feet. Then he decided that we had probably proceeded far enough, that we would not try to hike all the way to the falls, and we had lunch. After lunch, my socks were nowhere near dry, but we managed to get my boots on over the extremely large socks, walked back down the mountain and went home.
This memory was much in my mind as I walked the labyrinth because right before I went out there I got a call from my mother. His heart arrhythmia had overcome the drugs the cardiologist had prescribed, and he had another bad episode in the morning yesterday. They traveled to their doctor’s office for a consultation. This time his heart performed its “dance” right in the doctor’s office as he was hooked up to a monitor, where my mother reported that for a short time his heart rate was 8 beats per minute.
That’s right. Eight. The doctor called for an ambulance right that minute.
So, while I was walking with cold feet and remembering that other cold footed walk so many years ago with my young and strong daddy, my 85 year old, not so strong any longer father was lying in the hospital. He is still there. He’s supposed to get to come home on Friday.
Maybe you’ll get some fossils tomorrow.