I must have been reading Shakespeare when I first came across the term Deus Ex Machina. Loosely translated from the Latin, it means God Out of the Machine. It refers to a plot twist at the end of a play where the hero is saved against impossible odds. I pictured a backstage helper with a pulley and winch lowering a God out from above to provide deliverance.
Not long ago, a friend fell through the ice on the Great Salt Lake while attempting to rescue her dog. Every attempt to get out of the 38 degree water onto the thin ice resulted in failure. I pictured steel double-hulled polar ocean vessels when she said, "I felt like I was nothing but an icebreaker." It was almost dark.
Just when she thought it was over, she heard the whirr of a motorized paraglider. The pilot, wearing insulated and waterproof foulweather gear, landed nearby, dropped into the water and pushed her and the dog out onto the ice whereby my friend and her dog - on all fours - managed to get ashore. Darkness by this time was complete and the man disappeared back into the box from where he'd come.
But back to Shakespeare. You'll recall this his plays were either comedies or tragedies. With the current avalanche conditions, I wouldn't be surprised to see an accident or two in the coming days. My great hope is that we won't require a backstage handyman with pulleys and a winch to come save the day....and that our outings will be fun(ny) and not tragic.