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Hillside, youthful memories invites profound lessons

Agnes Kennard

A couple of weekends ago, I looked down the hill in front of our home at the inviting scene before me — a clear temptation just made for sledding. It was then that I decided I would get on this frail plastic sled that we have on hand for the grandchildren and do just that.

So I stepped off the narrow recently-shoveled path onto the snow, 2½ feet in depth, plunked my butt on the sled — and it sunk — with the front sticking straight up in the air. I found that I was stuck in the snow, legs straddling the sled in the most awkward pose when I discovered that I couldn’t get up.

I had no traction, my right leg refused to pull up out of the snow (there seemed to be a disconnect between my brain and my leg muscles and my foot was twisted like a hook) and my left arm was swimming around in snow trying to touch the unreachable earth for leverage.

Finding no help there, I tried rolling onto my stomach, I don’t know why I thought that would help, was I going to swim to the path?

In the meantime, fighting off panic, I find myself getting cold. I couldn’t believe I was going to be stuck there permanently — well, at the rate I was going, in this winter wonderland with its scenic view of the lake and such. I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t get down, I couldn’t roll out, and I couldn’t find solid ground.

Finally, I stretched as far as I could and grabbed hold of a small tree and pulled with all my might. It was enough to free myself and stand up to where I could maneuver back onto the path.

There must be a moral here somewhere but it escapes me at the moment — perhaps, stay on the path most traveled, look before you leap, when you are an adult you put away the things of your youth — something profound that I should have learned long before my 80th year of life.

Agnes Kennard is a writer living in Wascott.