Leif’s Belief (archives)

The planks and oarsmen groaned as one,

The wind began to blow,

And at the bow, Leif Erikson’s

Unease began to grow.

He’d put his trust in Jesus now,

And sailed to serve The Lord;

Yet Odin’s ravens mocked him

As the longboat left the fjord.

Soon blown off course, old doubts set in

And caused him great distress–

He grabbed a slave and thundered,

“Thrall, bring me the prophetess!”

The witch came forth, her robe bedecked

With skulls and precious stones,

And calling on the Alfather,

She cast her ancient bones.

“What is it?” Leif called out to her,

“What do The Old One’s say?”

“They say a man should trust his god

To guide him on his way.”

And so he climbed the mast to pray,

And high up there he saw

A land ahead that would, someday,

Be named America.

–Photo by me

Mark Twain Quote

I was planning on waiting till tomorrow for a walk in the woods, when this current cold snap is predicted to be over, but with 14 months of sobriety under my belt, it’s important to keep myself busy every day, so I pulled on the ol’ long johns, bundled up good, and headed out.

I found a well traveled deer trail and followed it into the frosty forest. It wasn’t long before I came upon this juvenile eagle high up in a dead tree. By the amount of white on his head, I’d say he’s about 3 years old, with another year or so to go before he’s an adult.

That puts him at the annoying teenager stage. It’s easy to tell because not only is his head turning white, but he’s got that smart-ass smirk on his can-opener beak and that know-it-all look in his eyes, so prevalent in teens. It reminds me of Mark Twain’s words on the subject:

“When I was a boy of 14,

my father was so ignorant,

I could hardly stand to

have the old man around.

But when I got to be 21,

I was astonished at how much

he had learned in 7 years.”

–Photo by me

hesitated (archives)

all of a sudden

i stood face to face

with the enemy;

i could see the fear

in his big brown eyes.

i had a gun; he didn’t.

slowly, i aimed at him–

could i really kill him

right here in cold blood?

they say to never hesitate,

but now, for some reason,

i couldn’t pull the trigger!

he probably had a family

and friends — just like me.

as i stood there watching,

he began to back away;

i just had to let him go–

i’d never tell the others,

but i was secretly glad

when he suddenly bolted

for the safety of the woods–

antlers held high.