When I was a young child, my family journeyed to the Grand Canyon with our Spanish foreign exchange student, Elena, to see this wonder of the world. My younger siblings, along with my mother and Elena, stayed to the higher paths that were wider, but still very dangerous. My father and older siblings journeyed down the precipice to the raging Colorado River below. After what felt like hours of waiting for my father’s group to come back to the car, Elena stayed with the other children while my mother and I went down the path to see if we could find them.
My anxious legs, tired of the long wait, ran down the path with my mother’s stern voice of warning hard on my heels. There was a resting spot with a shady overhang just ahead of me, so I ran to it and decided to wait for my mother there. My mother called to me to stay away from the ledge and, like most small children, I proceeded to get right up to the edge and peer over to see if I could spot my father on the path below. As I leaned over, the rocks under my feet gave way and I was unexpectedly airborne. I remember hearing my mother’s anguished cry as I was suddenly jerked to a halt by a hand on the collar of my shirt. Slightly upset at the rough treatment, I looked at the man pulling me back onto the ledge. My vague memory of him is blue jeans and a white shirt – a man with a kind face. My mother rushed to us and took me in her arms, scolding me while thanking the man. When I turned to thank him myself, as prompted by my mother, the man was gone. He was nowhere to be seen on the path above or below. My mother was also surprised at his absence, but soon forgot him as my father and siblings came up the path at that moment.
I, of course, was punished for not obeying – how? I can’t remember. However, I have since realized that man must have been an angel. Although I do not remember his face, I am certain that he has been present throughout my life, in my many close calls, to protect me from harm. I may not always see him, but I know he is there.
~ Lola Danielson, Pleasant Grove