A seemingly innocuous event

occurring at the critical moment

can precipitate an avalanche,

with devastating effect.

Firmly on two feet one minute,

hurtling down a slope the next.

Snowballing out of control -

down, down, down…

Smothered at the end of the fall,

struggling to emerge.

The will to live,

battling with despair.

Then the arduous task

of regaining lost ground.

A laborious ascent

in a weakened state.

The ever-present risk

of slipping back down

urges caution

and a tentative step.

After an unsteady climb

and many backslides,

the summit is regained,

and blue sky and sunshine.