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A Shout From The Attic: I See The Moon

...Next to Mosesí shop was a cycle rental shop that rented bicycles to soldiers for the trifling sum of half-a-crown a week. The bikes were new, shining, and cheap. After walking over the mountain, down the valley and into Pyla village a few times, I invested in the bike hirerís business, and that made my visits easier and quicker. At least, getting down into the village was quicker, but coming back up the narrow stony paths was always a challenge...

Ronnie Bray tells of a narrow escape from disaster during his year of serving in Cyprus with the British Army.

The British Government graciously paid for me to have a yearlong holiday in Cyprus, the Jewel of the Mediterranean, for which I shall always be thankful. The Cypriots were friendly, hospitable, and generous. The villagers of Pyla village made me their friend, largely because of Moses Nicolai, our young camp barber at Twelve Mile Camp, Dhekelia, who lived in the village and invited me to his home many times.

Next to Mosesí shop was a cycle rental shop that rented bicycles to soldiers for the trifling sum of half-a-crown a week. The bikes were new, shining, and cheap. After walking over the mountain, down the valley and into Pyla village a few times, I invested in the bike hirerís business, and that made my visits easier and quicker. At least, getting down into the village was quicker, but coming back up the narrow stony paths was always a challenge.

One dark night the challenge became positively Herculean as I stumbled along the rising path with a fading front light that lost the path more often than it found it. I thought I was doing well as I finally came out of the shallow ravine that flattened out onto the tableland, but then my light failed altogether and I was left to try to navigate by homing instinct.

The moment I felt the furrows of a ploughed field shaking me almost to death I knew that I had gone wrong. After some hundreds of yards my confidence in my abilities as a blind navigator deserted me and I stopped dead in my tracks, almost in a panic. Slipping from the saddle, I straddled the bike and peered into the darkness that had closed in on me like a glove closes on a hand. I could see nothing. I was hopelessly lost.

Suddenly, I seemed so small and trivial, and the world seemed like a vast place full of threatening darkness and unknown terrors. Mystical darkness and a vivid imagination when coupled with insecurity is a terrible mixture, producing Cimmerian visions of immanent death and destruction, as if Hell was beneath my feet and rising fast. I did not know how close to the truth I was as I fearfully and confusedly rested astride my steed.

After some frightened moments alone in the silent stillness of that impenetrable gloom, the awful truth of my situation was brought home to me in one shocking moment of apocalyptic horror as the clouds slid aside, giving way to the bright moon, hitherto completely veiled. Ten inches ahead of my front wheel was the gaping void of a substantial gorge, its sides almost vertical, and had I gone a few inches further on my dark ride, I would have been surely dashed to pieces on its scabrous rocks.

I thanked God for His lesser light that now shone through the darkness, saving me from certain doom, and sparing me for future adventures. I turned westward, hoping that I could again pick up the safe trail. A couple of hundred yards through the field, the moon picked out the shiny ribbon of well-worn path that led me back to my home and to safety. I breathed again and was not unthankful for my deliverance.
I remembered:

God said, Let there be light: and there was light
And God saw the light, that it was good.

Amen!

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