Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Falling Rocks

Growing up around the Adirondack mountains in the east and now living in the shadow of the Cascades in the west, I'm very accustomed to seeing the "Falling Rock" sign. Passing them as a child frequently caused me to glance up expectantly in the chance that I might see the tell tale signs of an actual falling rock. I think that the closest that I ever came was a brief slide of pebbles down the dusty embankment of an interstate that we had travelled often. Now as I have grown older, I never look up. I never expect that which is on the sign to truly happen. I've come to believe that, in fact, thses signs may only be put up through a long forgotten tradition. We've always done it that way. A few days ago, three women were tragically killed east of here by, of all things, a rock slide. I wonder if they saw the signs. I doubt that, as they left an energizing evening of music and laughter to head back home, it even crossed their minds that they wouldn't make it to their destination. Why didn't they think of it? The signs were there. I've seen them. Though I admit even as I'm reading them I don't internalize them. They aren't for me. I have plans at the end of the road. I have family at the end of the road. I have another day at the end of the road. I have relationships to form, cultivate, mend, and maybe even dissolve at the end of the road. the signs aren't for me. I never even look up anymore. What other signs have I been ignoring? What other dangers lie ahead? Where else am I wasting time heading somewhere that isn't anywhere, really? The rocks do indeed fall, whether we read the signs or not. They fall on the road. They fall on our lives. I live much more aware now that the creator of rocks and the giver of life has in fact posted signs all throughout my existence. Maybe I'd do better looking up more frequently.