Monday, October 25, 2010

Why I believe in Guardian Angels, Part II

This is the second installment in a series that will undoubtedly run for at least 100 episodes by the time I'm done . . . Read the First Installment here.

I believe it was fall; I was about twelve. My parents decided to take us down to Zion’s National Park. We loved hiking and being outdoors, and I had never been, so this was an exciting opportunity. On the second day we decided to conquer Angels Landing which is a 10 mile roundtrip hike; no small feat for a twelve year old, but I was ready. I had my new hiking boots, my bota bag, and my tank top.

We took the tacky but necessary pictures of ourselves lying dead-like on the switchbacks as if we’d fallen from a higher level. We took pictures of ourselves conquering the various sub-summits along the way. We got to the chain-assist area and carefully made our way up the precarious path. Eventually we had summitted the dangerous path to the narrow walkway known as Angel’s Landing. It was gorgeous. I could see for miles and miles. I could also see the half-mile straight drop to certain death if one were to take a misstep, so I was cautious.

After about a half hour of taking pictures as a family, eating our lunch, and relaxing in the October sun, I started looking for things that I could photograph.

There he was, a lone squirrel munching on some lunch of his own. As quiet as I could I snuck toward him, trying not to scare him away. I was going to get the perfect picture. I took one step, and a second, and a third, when suddenly a hand grabbed my collar. I had been looking through my viewfinder, and had not noticed that the squirrel was actually on a ledge on the far side of a three-foot crevasse over which I had stepped, and my right foot was now hanging with nothing below. My sister had seen me, and grabbed me just in time. 3 nanoseconds later and my blood would have changed the sandstone below from a deep orange to a dark red.

Why I believe in Guardian Angels, Part I

My mother has always believed in guardian angels. I’m not exactly sure why. She’s not the type of person to dwell on things that are speculative or things that are supernatural. She is academic by nature – having taught at all levels of the education system for decades – and her personality is enticed by the concrete facts. But she has always believed in and talked about guardian angels.

It was winter and I was about 6 years old. My family went down to the local reservoir, which was only two blocks away, and we strapped on our ice skates. I had just received some new double-bladed ice skates for Christmas and was eager to try them out. I had never been skating before. Since it was January, and this was high elevation Northern Utah, it wasn’t necessary to be too careful. The ice was thick and hard.

“Just don’t go near the shore” my mom warned me. “The ice is thinner near the shore.”

I had no problem with that, I didn’t need to go near the shore. I played with my sisters who were skating in figure eights and doing different dances. They were eleven and twelve; so they were much more capable and graceful than me. Eventually I got bored.

Being the scientific soul that I was, I decided I needed to go exploring. I’d never been on a frozen lake, and there were definitely going to be some cool things to discover.

I walked through the snow until I eventually had crossed about the distance of a football field and came to this strange dome of ice. It was naturally occurring, about a foot and a half in height, clear, and an almost perfectly shaped cylindrical dome.

What had caused it? I knew that ice forms at the top of water, but not above it. Ice is heavier than air, and so there was no rational explanation as to why this dome would exist. I inched closer to inspect it more thoroughly.


I don’t remember much. I certainly don’t remember cold while I was in the water, and I know I wasn’t in the water for more than ten seconds. My father was a large man, and he had me out of the water immediately, which certainly required some running since I was so far away. My mother grabbed the car and had it on the dike almost as fast. We sped home and my mom drew a hot bath for me while I got out of my wet snow clothes
That was the first time I fell through the ice on our lake.

Mission Statement

My education and background are in Business. Due to this fact I think every new project should have a mission statement, whether spoken or implied, every endeavor should have a reason for its existence, a purpose for being.

I’m starting this blog to give my thoughts a home; a place that they can go and dwell instead of just dying in my head. My blog’s second purpose is to give my thoughts audience – if they are so deserving. I don’t know if my thoughts are of value, or completely worthless. I figure the only way to find out is to see if they gain a following. My third purpose in committing this act of self-indulgence is because over the past year I have enjoyed the thoughts of others. I like reading other blogs and enjoy seeing others’ thoughts. I thought it only fair to give back to the intertwining net of bandwidth.

I’ve never been good at keeping a journal, so I make no promises. This might be as successful of a project as the engine swap I attempted when I was 15 – and finished when I was 19.

So here it is; my offering to the insatiable beast, The Internet. Don’t be too cruel.