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2001-09-01 - 2:53 p.m.

Midway in our life's jurney, I went astry from the striaght rode ahead and woke to find my self alone in a dark wood. how shall I say.......what wood that was! I never saw no drear so rank, so arduos a wilderness! It's very memory gives a shape of fear. Death could scarce be more bitter than that place! but since it came to good, I will reacount all that I found revealed by God's grace. How I came to it I can not rightly say, so drugged and loose with sleep had I become when i first wandered there from the True way. But at the far end of that valley of evil whose maze had sapped my very heart with fear! I found myself be for a little hill and lifted my eyes, Its shoulders glowed already with the aweet rays of that planet whose virtue leads men straight on every road, and the shinning strengthend me agianst the fright whose agony had wracked the lake of my heart through all the terrors of that piteous night. Just as a swimmer, who with his last breath flounders ashore from a perilous seas, might turn to memorize the wide water of his death-so did i turn, my soul still fugitive from death's surviving image, to stare down that pass that none had ever left alive. And there l lay to rest from my heart's race till come and breath returnd to me. Then rose and pushed up that dead slope at such a pace each foot fall rose above the last. And lo! almost at the begining of the rise I face a spotted lepard, all tremor and flow and gaudy pelt. And it would not pass, but stood so blocking my every turnthat time and agian I was on the verge of turning back to the wood. This fell at the first widening of dawn as the sun was was climbing Aries with those stars that rode with him to light the new creation. thus the holy hour and the sweet season of commemoration did much. To arm my fear of that bright murderous beast with good omen.



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