Editor's Column

"I never used to be religious, but a recent experience changed my thinking. It started out like any other day.I was hanging around with some old school friends when suddenly I felt a sharp, excruciating pain. Things started to go dark. My friends looked like they were far below me, and although I could see them they apparently couldn't see me.The darkness enveloped me and I felt a sudden rushing feeling, as if I were going through a tunnel. I'd never been so scared in my life. Where was I going? Into the dark pit of hell? A terrifying feeling of panic overcame me, but just as things looked blackest suddenly I sensed light. Yes, it was getting lighter, no doubt about it. In fact the darkness was only at the edges now as a gentle light enveloped me. I still felt that rushing sensation, but now it was into the warming light. My panic subsided. Maybe this wasn't so bad, after all, although I still wondered where my friends were.As the light grew in intensity, I stopped struggling. I was ready for the inevitable, whatever it may be. I started thinking about my life, all the things I had enjoyed from birth to adulthood, and all the things I regretted. I realized that I should be thankful for having led a good life. I never really knew my parents but I had plenty of friends and relatives, and never felt alone. There was always shelter and food to eat, and although I was by no means rich, I had all I needed. I seemed like I was living my life all over again, although it must have taken just seconds. Regrets, I had a few, but I sensed I was going to something better.I had never before seen such illumination, but it turned out I hadn't seen anything yet. Suddenly I emerged into light so bright that it was almost painful. I felt I could see its source and was quickly being pulled toward it. Although frightened, I was looking forward to being immersed in that light, to become one with the light of the universe.But wait. Suddenly my progress toward the light stopped, and I felt myself firmly in the grasp of what can only be described as God. The source of the light seemed near, but my progress was interrupted. God seemed to be pondering my fate, as if undecided. I wanted to finish my trip to the light so badly, but soon I knew that it was not to be. I felt myself being drawn backward from whence I had come. The stunning light grew dimmer, then almost disappeared as I made my descent back down, down, down, to my old neighborhood and my old life.I was momentarily disappointed, but my friends greeted me and celebrated my return. Others had been drawn up toward the light, but very few ever returned. Why me? It seemed to be my duty to spend more time with my friends, to tell them to live happily, without fearing the end when they too will be drawn toward the light. And while I'm happy to be back among my friends, I will always regret being returned from the light, which is my true destiny.From, One Fish's Near Death Experience, by an undersized trout that was caught April 28 on opening day and thrown back into Deer Lake. "

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