I wasn’t sure where to go. The once defined path had grown over. I knew the general direction we were heading, and I knew we’d get there. I just wasn’t clear on the details.
We eventually came down farther than we ever had before and were rewarded with a new view of The Cave. First, an impressive facade of rock — majestic among the tall, slender, golden maples, sending gentle leaves spiraling down to the trickling creek bed below. Next, the view off the left, up the valley to the mouth of The Cave, its dark mouth yawning open, mysterious, lovely, beckoning.
At first, I found myself hesitate. Was this it, our Cave? I’d only been coming here for the past 34 years of my life, but I’d never found myself quite so impressed. I usually tried to downplay The Cave for visitors. Well, it’s just an overhang, really, you know, not a cavern or anything.
But, if it wasn’t, well — amazing.
I found my thoughts echoed in the awed and awesome voice of an 11-year-old kid who just possibly found something cooler than getting a high score on a video game.
This is amazing. Wow, this is amazing!
I smiled at Nick. It’s like a postcard, isn’t it?
We took off to catch up with my daughter and Nick’s younger sister, Savannah. My family’s English Springer Spaniel crashed about the foliage, generally getting filthy and sharing the excitement in the way only a dog can.
The kids scrambled throughout the soft grey-brown floor of the cave — sediment from the rock above slowly disintegrating over years and filtering below. It’s kind of like what you’d think the surface of the moon would be, we said.
I sat on a damp rock as they roamed.
Maybe this is a bobcat’s den. Hey, we found a snake… oh, it’s a salamander. Look at this!
We’d finally invited our neighbors down to my parents’ rural Ohio farm, about 150 miles away from our cozy little suburban enclave. We were ready to show them a bit of farm life.
While my family knows the annual autumn drill — making cider, taking Gator rides, hiking, fishing in the pond, making a huge bonfire and eating outside in the cold, petting farm cats, talking, laughing, playing — this weekend, it was better. Witnessing the kids’ joy, gathering the beauty close in shutter snaps and oohs and ahhs, seeing it all with them for the first time — well, it made it seem new to us, too.
We made our arms ache turning the cider press while the kids tried to jam us up with handfuls of apples at a time; we ate too many homemade pumpkin desserts; we got whipped in the face with a few tree branches on narrow rides through old trails; we chased farm cats; we tried not to get tipped over in a canoe when the dog swam by and decided to try to claw his way over the edge; and we even got lost on the way to The Cave — well, almost.
When I was a kid, roaming these fields, trust got me by. I could “feel” my way around, confident I wouldn’t get lost. Maybe I’d wander unsure for a while; I simply called it exploring. These days, Lord, I feel I’ve lost my sense of adventure, my knack of trust. Help me plunge into the beauty of the unknown woods, if that’s where You’d take me.
What about you?
When is the last time you got lost? Did you view it as an adventure or a trial? Are there times you feel you want your journey with God mapped out, instead of relying on faith?
This post is linked up with: In, On, and Around on Mondays at Seedlings in Stone, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, Graceful: Faith in the Everyday’s Hear it on Sunday, Use It On Monday, and The WIP Wednesday Linkup at New Life Steward.