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Sunset on the Ganatchio

July 9, 2010

I was walking along the Ganatchio trail the other night, lost in my thoughts, when a young man demanded my attention.  I had seen him from a distance, in the way that I notice and assess everyone.  Friend.  Dismiss.  Eye Candy.  Threat.  Those are the four basic groups I funnel people into. This guy had been wavering between dismiss and threat. Don’t make too much of that; I put a lot of people in the threat category. It doesn’t actually mean I feel threatened, just that I am a little more alert. I do it even more when Kelly is with me. Defense is my method, as I’m not too good with offense.

Anyway, this fella was in his early twenties maybe. Muscular and shirtless, with multiple tattoos. He was walking toward me in a less-than-straight line, so I wondered if perhaps he was under the influence of alcohol or perhaps some other substance.

I was clipping along at full speed in my chair,  somewhere around 10km/hr.  When I was close to him, he suddenly starting saying “Sir!…SIR!!……SIR!!!!”

He was gesturing for me to stop.  And so I did, expecting some silly drunk thug’s attempt to trick a guy in a wheelchair out of his wallet or cell phone. (it happens)

“Sir! You HAVE to see this!!”

He walked away from me a few feet and then turned, and said excitedly, “Come here, you can see it better from here.”

I moved to where he was and per his enthusiastic instructions, I turned and looked back in the direction from which I had come.

He pointed to the sky with both arms in the air. “Look!! Just look at that SKY!! Look at that and tell me there is no God!!”

As I sat there looking at this impressive canvas, he simply walked away from me smiling.

When he was about 20 feet away he looked back at me and yelled “GOD IS GREAT!!”

He sure is. And he surprises me every day.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 8:28 pm

    Oh I Love this story…The “threat” man sees G-d where I see G_d! Everywhere in nature…Yes, it’s great!

  2. July 10, 2010 3:15 am

    Me too, wonderful story, Sylvain! xoO

  3. mister wheelz permalink
    July 25, 2010 3:05 pm

    I would have been shocked and pleasantly surprised if I had encounter this man during one of my forays downtown.

    I was also struck first by how you started this post: “I was walking along…”
    It reminded me of the time I was at church reading a Bible passage which contains the line “I shall rise up and walk.”

    Afterward, the priest told me that he is surprised at how I and the deacon, who is visually-impaired, can so casually read texts that contain the words “walk” or “see.” Several of the members said to me that we give such verses a whole new perspective. I explained that, while I can’t speak for the deacon, I don’t even pay attention to the irony.

    • July 25, 2010 9:30 pm

      Yeah, I’m with you on that. I don’t even think about it any more. I use the phrase “go for walk” rather than, I don’t even know what, “go for a roll”? Almost has a sexual connotation that one.

      I’ve tried to change how I phrase it, to use words like stroll, or hike, but I decided it’s not my problem to solve. I’m “going for a walk” and if people can’t figure out what I mean or choose to point out how “funny” that is, then they aren’t really people I need to bother with.


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