The Boy Teacher and The Father Student 3 (The Fear and Risk Factor. Who Do You Do It For?)
Reach For The Prize
Is It Worry or The Goal That is The Most Dangerous?
In this setting the boy is twelve. The father in his mid-thirties. The canyon they hike is either, boulder crawling and some hopping in the middle of the canyon or nasty sage brush on the sides. The time on the side leaves them cut on all extremities. Manzanita, Yucca, Jumping Cactus, Sage and brambles. So back to crawling on boulders larger than a Volkswagen Beetle and lesser ones that move and try to trap your ankle. They will be lucky to make a mile an hour.
The father in front spots the elusive eagles they are tracking and they scramble to be still. Cameras and binoculars are out. Slow movement and no noise. Then a sound like no other comes from on high. The female eagle dives and catches a snake on the move. From 90 miles an hour to full reverse and lift off in 2.5 seconds. That sound is the minor air displacement from 3 pounds breaking 70 miles an hour in a straight dive.
They have their prize. A worthy expedition. But they will not stop until they reach the waterfall ¾ of a mile beyond. Gatorade is passed. Nuts, berries and peanut butter are shared without a word.
B: Can we make it to the falls and still make it home?
F: It would be a bitch to do this in the dark.
B: We are so close dad.
F: Son we would worry a whole lot of people if we do not make it back tonight. So we drop our backpacks here. We do not hurry but stay moving. A twisted ankle here would be bad. You call out if you see a better path.
B: This is kind of scary dad. Are you alright with it?
B: But we are still going to try?
F: Do we have a choice?
Some I reckon would see this as a race against time. The boy and the father know better it is a race against fear. Not a danged word is said for an hour. Concentration is a must. And then they are at the falls and swimming in the pool below.
B: I guess we have to go.
F: We have 3 hours to do what took us 5 to get here. We stay in the canyon bed.
B: This is pretty scary and exciting dad.
F: If we do this right the only fear we have is mom saying we cannot do it again.
A Wonderful Example of Overcoming Fear
20 Years Later That Boy Leads The Man On Hikes
Doing the Right Thing
Things started to go downhill, so to speak. And the giggle. And move out. While the light is still good. But it begins to turn into shadows which makes judging distances hard and that becomes a worst enemy. The first part goes well. They are at their packs.
B: So dad I was trying to figure it out. When do we put ourselves in more danger so that others do not worry? I mean we could just go over there under the Oak tree and sleep until light.
F: Well you got a point there son, right on the top of your head. (Laughter from an old joke.) Now please do not get this wrong son, but the only time I have ever really screwed up is when I did a wrong move to appease a fear of another. Fear is not reason.
B: I do that all the time. I do stupid stuff to make you happy. And I definitely do that for mom and teachers at the school. You are so big and strong and smart, why would you do that? I mean you always say to do things right and good will happen.
F: We go until the light is too bad to go on.
Shadows got longer and light was replaced with dusk. Of course they had headlamps and flashlights. So progress was hurried. But with no illusions that they would reach safe ground by dark. A break and a sharing of an orange and a granola bar.
B: Dad are we going to hurt ourselves so mom does not worry?
F: I always have son.
B: Dad that is not good.
F: You are so right. I really have to work on that co-dependency issue. That means that I care more about how others feel than doing the right thing. But don’t you try to act brave and strong for me.
B: No dad we have talked about this. I do not do it for how you feel I do it for how I feel.
My Friend The Water Buffalo
Who Do We Answer To?
It got dark. The two flipped on the lights and proceeded. There was not a murmur about what they would do. They trudged on.
F: Why are we doing this son?
B: For the right reason dad. To kick this canyon’s butt. High five!
F: Thanks for your encouragement son.
A light or lights flicker in the distance. The road is in sight. The father cautions, keep your eye on the job not on the prize. The boy grunts and speeds up. About 300 yards out two guys jump from behind rocks and scare the crap out of both of them. Dad’s big brother and an uncle in law. Laughing their butts off and sucking down brews. And they point out an easy path to get to the road.
B: Were you guys worried about us?
The shouted response was that they were worried about what the moms would do if they let the two get hurt. Chuckles and laughter the whole way back home.
Getting The Stories Down
F: Does everyone have the story down. We saved you guys from getting lost and we were fine the whole way just waiting for the beautiful moon.
B: Dad you are too funny. Let’s do it again tomorrow.
They strolled to the cabin and were met with wonderful barbeque smells and happy loud conversation. The ladies inside simply ordered the two to bathe and eat.
Later as the two of them were laying in their sleeping bags in the meadow there was time to talk as they marveled at the heavens.
B: God that was fun dad. I like real fear. I kind of like being on the edge. Is that an adrenaline junky like you talk about? Give me some of your Bible stuff about it.
F: You mock me son! But why not, it is so boring it will put us to sleep so we can get up before the crack of dawn and go fishing. Hey buddy it is so cool because the notions come from 2,000 years ago.
B: Okay Dad not that boring.
F: We are not to sit on our hands. We are to do good works. And we are to do them for the glory of God and the betterment of others. So we do not get to be little chickenshits and do nothing. Nature and scary travels into nature prepare us to do battle with wrong. We do not get to risk it all in nature, we must, in order to be strong.
B: So what is the scariest thing you ever did dad?
F: hands down no question; bringing you children into the world.
B: I know you do not want to hear it dad, but my scariest thing is letting you down. I know you say that what is important is letting ourselves down. But dad you do not get to tell me how I feel.
B: Dad, I hope you do not do things with me for me. I hope you do them for you. That would make me more happy.
F: Hmm son. Maybe it is the same thing. I will sleep on it.