Wide. That’s what Utah is. And bright. Bright as a sandstone mesa under noonday sun. Dry, as a bone.
That’s where we were, two men walking on hot, dusty trail in the middle of Nowhere, Utah. With a pack on the back, an old fifty-something like me couldn’t hear the unexpected as it lurked somewhere in the distance.
The near distance, on the middle of the trail, and the same color as the sand itself: death.
So the old guy, father, couldn’t hear death wait for him, just a pebble-toss ahead. The rustle of the pack, the shuffle of feet, the heat of the day. Dad’s old ears render him clueless sometimes.
But the son heard, and he responded.
Old dad shuffling right along on the trail, heading directly for death. Suddenly, he is pulled backward rudely, violently.
“Dad!” shouted the son to the father who had given life to him.
Dad got stopped in his tracks, son’s hand firmly jerking him back by grab of his pack.
The snake was coiled in the middle of the trail, coiled, rattles just a-hissin’ through the desert heat.
Son who had been given life through the father gave life back again. Thanks, son.
(This really happened.)