Monday, November 12, 2007


The only constant is change. The world around me changes. People enter my life and then disappear: loved ones, students, acquaintances. Sometimes a change can be a shock. Not unlike the devastation I felt upon learning of Steve Irwin's ironic meeting with fate, I find I am mourning the loss our friend, the so-called Spear of Death (SOD).

She dangled from a branch, some thirty feet high, and pointed her menacing fingernail downward. Attached by nothing we could see, we feared she would be knocked down by every windstorm or heavy rain. But she withstood the elements, even getting sharper as if she were secretly filing her sharp, pointy digit.

We counted on her, our spear. Sure as our own sweat, we would see this mystery of nature, defying the laws of gravity, and setting a mile marker for our run. As we chanted "Spear, spear, of, of, death, death, death..." our voices reverberated through the trees. The spooky setting of our pre-dawn runs was accented by the potential of an interception with our spear, so we carried our mini flashlights to illuminate her slim figure.
Then as easily as we had noticed her presence, we noticed her absence. Her broken limb, pushed to the side like so much trash. We knelt by the trail and recovered her pieces, carrying her home for a proper resting place.

Today, a day after learning of her demise, we paused at her spot on the path. A new chant to honor her passing is becoming a quick tradition, "We have nothing to fear, fear, fear, for there is no spear, spear, spear."


Cora Spondence said...

You know what I would like? A history of the SOD. Where did it come from? How did it get to your neighborhood? Who else has it menaced? I am seeing picture book!!!

LJ said...

I'm pretty sure the Spear of Death would want to be cremated in your fireplace.

MJ said...

I love you guys. That's it. That's what this post made me think.

Calendar upgrade: excellent!