Saturday, September 14, 2013

Was there a snake in the hole?

A Snake in the hole? Who cares?

Sometimes a story is just a story—except when it is not. This story was just a story at the time. Over the years, upon reflection, it has taken on more meaning. To me, today, the story about there maybe being a snake in the hole in the tree is more than a story about there maybe being a snake in the hole in the tree.

When I tell it, I sense the cool damp of the Alabama woods in the late fall. I see the fallen leaves, the moss on the bare trees, the oak, the hickory, the sweet gum. I see the squirrel running around the tree, dropping to the ground when Dad shot him. I catch the subdued smell of Dad's ever present cigar and the smell of the wood chips as the tree is cut into firewood. That day in the woods with my Dad is a very good memory.

I see it now also as a caution against being obsessed with the what ifs of life. I am reasonably sure that if there had been a snake in the hole, my Dad would have dealt with it. I suppose one could make a case for investigating a situation before getting involved but I am very much aware that there are all sorts of possible threats out there that can paralyze me if I choose to make that my main focus.

This is just a story—unless you choose to make something more out of it.

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