Climbing Down

You barely dare move, with weak knees and clammy hands slipping on the ladder rungs, but after several panicky minutes, you find the courage to lower yourself one step.  

Pause.  Breathe.  Cling.

You make it into a moving meditation, resting your head against the tree trunk after every rung to steady yourself.

Step.  Pause.  Breathe.  Cling.  Repeat.

One step at a time, you see the ground getting closer, and your confidence slowly strengthens.   At last, you feel terra firma beneath your feet, and you collapse onto the ground, feeling the solidity of earth beneath your back.

Whew.  Made it.

As you stare up into the treetop wondering what on earth possessed you to climb the ladder, an almost imperceptible hum catches your ear.

Turning your head, you see the floating silver craft swooshing toward you, then stopping just a few feet from your head.  Hovering just inches off the ground, it waits for you to get the silent message.

Reluctantly, you get it, and decide to get in.