There are moments in your life that seem especially weighty. I guess all moments actually have that property. I might have been struck by lightning at most any time. But particular events seem to stand out as pivotal.
For instance, there are close calls. About age 10, I was given a bow and arrow as a gift. What a treasure! Now, I would go around shooting this and that like Robin Hood. These were target arrows, steel tips. My sister and I went to a large mowed field next to our house to try it out. We had the bow, the arrows and a paper target that had come with the set. I put the bow and arrows down and walked to a slight rise where I set the unfolded paper on the ground. By the time, I walked back to the bow, a breeze had blown the paper target closed along its folds. My sister said she’d fix it. She went to the target, unfolded it and walked off to the side. I had used a bow in camp and thought I knew what I was doing. She seemed totally out of the way.
Eager to use the new equipment, I shot an arrow. It passed through her curls along the side of her head!!
Writing about that moment now, I still feel the shame, the shock, the danger, the gratitude. I have loved her all my life. She is my earliest memory, my mother giving me my first try at holding her as a baby in my arms upon their arrival home from the hospital. She has been one of the bookends that held up the volumes of my life. Her husband of all these years, her children and grandchildren and I are all still thankful that she wasn’t hurt.