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The word instantly brings to mind the most unpleasant emotion we possess.

Growing up in a very rural community, fear was taught. We were told not to go in the deep water, we might drown, don’t go in the woods, you might get lost, don’t stay out in the dark, etc. Rather than teach us to handle the situation, we were just taught fear.

So life was filled with fear. My first recollection of fear is when I left my Aunt Muriel’s home and went up the hill to the Post Office to get the mail. All went well until I tried to get home.

I always was a dreamer and could get side tracked very easily. All of a sudden, I had no idea where I was. I had wandered of the road and ended up by the lake shore. I was lost! I know my reaction was to cry because I was scared. A neighbor found me and returned me to my Aunt. I remember snuggling into her bosom and crying until she calmed me and reassured me that everything was okay. I don’t think she sent me for mail again.

My oldest son was about two years old. We had been outside playing for quite some time. He knew his boundaries. I had to run into the house for something. When I returned, no Jimmy. My heart stopped.

We had a business, were near a highway and had a river in our back yard. I kicked off my shoes and began running from one part of the property to the other, asked neighbors, but could not find him anywhere.

Then I remembered a cat had strayed into our yard. When a stray animal came on our property he would always chase them home. So on a dead run, up the river I ran. Sure enough, here he came through the tall weeds, wooden spoon in hand and said, "Got him, darn cat". I did not know if I should paddle him or hug him. I was so grateful, I hugged him and cried tears of joy.

My reaction to fear is first to try and figure out what is going on. Once I access the problem and can handle it, I collapse and cry and begin to shake and get a cold shudder through my body. After that, I say a word of thanks, pick myself up and go on with life.

Gwen Welk Workman, July 28, 2012

The Wooden Spoon


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