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Listen to Coronavirus Patient Zero
Fishing - My Accident
To this day I can't explain why I am still alive. I should be dead. My mother and I were visiting my grandmother and uncle, during my summer vacation. I was about 10 years old . They lived in a very rural area. The valley where they lived was quite narrow, running north to south.
It might have taken 5 minutes to drive from one side to the other and both sides of this valley, were heavily forested. The western mountain side, very green and wet and the eastern side a bit drier. A creek snaked its way along the length of the valley. It was fed by the melting snow and ice from the nearby towering mountains. In spring time the creek became a raging torrent of water, several times its summer time width.
Very often it would flood the bottom of the valley, where the fertile farm land was located. Grandmother's farm was often flooded in spring time, if the weather suddenly became hot. This would cause rapid snow melt, feeding the creek, making it turn into a huge monstrous torrent of ever expanding water. By summer time the creek settled down, to a fraction of its spring time size. There was a highway lane size, main current area, flanked by side pools fed by streamlets. These side pools had been dug by the spring flood waters. A lot of the river bank was undermined by the same water power, that had dredged the side pools. It was a hot summer day. My mother and I set out to go fishing at the creek. We trekked across a field, then through some brush, to gain access to the creek.
I was carrying a fishing rod and a can of worms, to be used as fishing bait. There was a rough trail at the edge of the creek, leading towards where one of the fishing pools sparkled. We walked near the edge of the bank and could see that the flood waters had eaten away the bank a bit, weakening its stability. I had been warned to be careful not to walk too close to the edge, since it could be unstable. What I recall next is a bit like a series of snapshots or flashes. I sort of remember the bank below me suddenly breaking away. I sensed that falling panicky feeling. There was a mad grab for the creek bank. I recall flashes of trying to grab roots sticking out of the creek's bank. All these flashes happening in a blink of an eye.
And then click. I was sleeping. I was dreaming. That warm fuzzy sleep feeling you get, when you are in the most comfortable bed and are only half awake. I was suddenly surrounded by a pastel light green haze. No more awareness of any thing else. Just floating, dreaming, and comfortable, in my own little green nirvana. The next thing I remember was my mother pulling me up the bank by the arm. I was all wet, cold and muddy. I have no real memory of what was going on in the real world, outside me, during my time in the fishing pool.
From what my mother told me, I understand that she couldn't get to me. She didn't know how to swim herself. All she could do was yell to me to kick or tread water. She also told me to raise my arm so she could pull me up the creek bank. I don't recall any of that. It's all blank. I remember taking a nice hot bath later, to warm up. The water in the tub was just fine. Any thing deeper is not for me.
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