Friend Of All The World

I lost control of my truck on the unexpected ice and barely stopped before intersecting the oncoming traffic. What was that? Seconds later, as I waited to turn left into the medical complex, I heard and felt the sickening impact of autobodies as the driver behind me skidded on the same ice patch and smacked me. My hat flew off and coffee erupted from my cup. Damn construction! I called Dr. Campbell, the surgeon who removed the cancerous tumor from my neck back in June 2011, and informed his assistant that I’d be a few minutes late for my annual checkup.

The morning frost was long gone by the time I made it out to the Kettle Moraine Oak Opening on Bluff Road to finish piling the brush we cut last weekend.



The blue sky silhouetting the might oaks on the hillside was immaculate and I was under Rudyard Kipling’s spell listening to Kim, “friend of all the world”, on audio book. What a tale filled with metaphors: the Great Game, the River of the Arrow, the Wheel of Life… and told in the context of the rich and incomparable Indian culture of the late 1890’s. I blissfully piled brush as Kim simultaneously “ripened” into a secret agent for the British empire and faithful chela to the Teshoo Lama.

Dr. Campbell said everything looked good and that I had “made the right choice” by refusing the radiation and chemotherapy they had strongly recommended after the surgery. I don’t know if I’m “acquiring merit” by volunteering in the forest, and it doesn’t matter, I felt the reward in the present moment and thankful tears welled up.

I finished stacking what we laid down last Saturday and tried to consolidate the piles so they would be easier to light when we get snow cover.




Then I headed over to the high ground at Bald Bluff to watch the sun down and thank the Creator for giving me another splendid day.









See you at The Springs!

2 thoughts on “Friend Of All The World

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