“Not only am I your father I am also a Guardian, your Guardian and you are a Pioneer. I
have to help you get to places even I wouldn’t have the strength to go to. The least I can
do is prepare you as best I can. Now suck it up and face your fear,” his replied sternly.
Dad’s tone was unlike I ever heard before from him. I knew he could be strict if he
wanted to be but there was an edge to his attempt at being strict. I could tell he really
needed me to get through this, that for some reason this was as important as anything
else I had been through, maybe even more so. “How Dad, where do I start?” I asked.
“First you must open your eyes, you cannot do anything if you cannot see anything,” he
told me calmly. I could feel the relief in his voice. I did as his instructed me. “Now I want
you to slow your breathing and be still, calm yourself in the same way you learnt from
Suriyan,” he said.
It felt like forever before I could get my breathing under control. It was more difficult
because I had to do it with my eyes open. “It would have been a lot easier if I could just
keep my eyes closed,” I told him.
“It is easy to become still when there is no threat or illusion of danger around you my
boy. You need to become still in the middle of an event as threatening as an avalanche
or raging tsunami. When you can do this you will be able to see what is real and what is
not, where you can go and where is blocked. You calm down so you can make the right
decisions, decisions that could save your life and the lives of others,” he said.
Even the knowledge that this was a lesson did not take away any of the pressure I was
feeling from the enclosing tunnel of green suffocation. I was steadying myself when a
tendril from a tree at my feet reached forward and wrapped itself around my left foot. I
started to panic again. My breathing shot through the roof and I wanted to close my
eyes and scream. With all the effort I could muster I held my nerve.