By Amanda Michelle Evans
One day, I set out to dig a hole. It was to be the finest hole around and unlike any hole anyone had ever seen. I borrowed a shovel from my parents and surveyed my surroundings. They were not up to my standards and therefore I set out to find a more suitable parcel. Walking through the gate and over the hills, I ducked my head under a bridge then hiked up my pant legs, removed my shoes, and crossed a stream.
The grounds I saw were not at all what I was looking for. The earth must be just right for the fine hole I would dig. I hitched a ride on the back of a cargo train bound west and into the face of the evening sun. I rode all night and when arriving at the station, I then promptly disappeared into the hazy mists of clouds rising above the mountains before anyone noticed I was there.
As fast as possible, I ran through the trees toward the peak. By daybreak, I had found the perfect place. It was the most peaceful view I had ever seen overlooking the deep valley below. Wasting no time, I struck the shovel’s head to the dirt disrupting nature’s perfection in search of my own. I dug all day until the sun waned and my workspace grew dim.
The masterpiece I had created was indeed a spectacular one. The walls of my hole were smooth and steep. The bottom was deep. It was magnificent, and I was proud of my accomplishment! My tummy began to rumble as the high wore off. My hands were bleeding and my body ached. It was only then that I realized that in my hurry to achieve success, I forgot a vital tool. I had not brought a rope. How was I to climb out of my hole?
The smooth walls were all of a sudden my enemy and the perfection I sought had become my doom. I was trapped in a hole I had dug for myself. My eyes filled with tears. I was too tired to call for help and the pains in my stomach became unbearable, so I laid down in the dirt and went to sleep.
I woke to the sting of large raindrops pounding my face. Panic set in as I realized that the hole was filling up and I could not save myself. The walls of my beloved hole began to melt and the water turned to mud. I cried out to the nothingness for help. Nothingness responded. I was alone in that great hole that I had worked so hard to dig.
Settling into my doom, I stopped fighting and became quiet. I envisioned all the ways I could have done things differently. “If I had just brought a rope… If I had brought a helper… If I had told someone where I was going… Things would be so different!”
As the mud crept upward and began covering my shoulders, I mustered all my might and cried out just one more time. I heard nothing. Only the thunder answered my calls. I closed my eyes and waited for my end.
A tickle on my nose brought me back to consciousness. I gazed upward through the haze to see the face of a stranger. I did not know this face, but it was the most beautiful face I had ever seen. A rope ladder was offering survival as it dangled down the side of the hole. My body was cast into the mud by now making it impossible to move. I had no energy. Try as I might, I was not able to grab the rope to set myself free. My voice had left me. I could only look at my savior. I was not able to help myself.
The unknown face quietly smiled at me, secured the ladder and climbed down into the magnificent trap I had created for myself. He diligently moved the caked mud away and tied the rope around my waist. He put me over his strong shoulders and climbed us out of that dark place.
Once at the top, he wrapped me in a warm blanket, wiped my face, then carried me down the mountain. I watched my creation disappear as we walked away. He purchased two tickets for the train and we rode through the night. At the next stop, he carried me back over the stream and under the bridge. I was silent as he traversed the hills and then carefully opened the gate, placing me on my front porch. He began to walk away but not before I asked, “Who are you? How did you find me? Why did you help me?” He turned back toward me and simply said, “I am a friend. I came because you called.”