In any life, there are events that shake us to the core. Some occur when we are very young, and they remain the reach of memory. Others persist in detail so heightened that it verges on the surreal, as if painted onto our retinas by a Salvador Dalí employing a tiny brush.
When I was eighteen months old, I was trampled by a boar hog with tusks. He ripped my head open, left a deep dent in my skull and nearly took out my left eye. Had my father not been able to kick the five-hundred pound beast away just in time, he would have eaten me for breakfast.
I have no recollection of the event whatsoever, except what I was told by my parents, and the occasional nightmare, in which hogs are rooting around in my bed.
More than forty years later, I stood in the season’s first snowfall…
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