trail

Walk with me?

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It’s morning and there’s a day’s journey ahead. The trail is damp with evening’s dew. My feet are eager to move.

I snap twigs underfoot and spook two white-tailed doe deeper into the woods. They are elegant and swift creatures, and I’m reminded of my namesake — gazelle. I’ve a bounding heart, too. I have kept myself illusive at times, and just out of reach of all. Yet, I’m the hunted and there is no real sanctuary other than the one He is. 

Every hundred feet or so I’m walking through a spiderweb between trees. I’m the first to break the plane of the trail this morn. They serve as mile-markers, and I tear through the ribboned web with my body as I trek. With each one I tell myself it’s simply qualification — breaking through and taking ground. Keep going. 

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There’s a gnarly tree trunk uprooted and exposed. It’s left there for every sojourner to see. Now I’m thinking of all the turned over trunks in my own heart, and how we can walk through the ruins of certain rooms and survey the wreckage. But maybe it’s an installment — like art — and it’s meant as a symbol, as we walk past. I keep moving. 

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I find a brilliant beam of sunlight peering through a small clearing. It speaks hope to me and illuminates a spiderweb that resembles a bullseye. Some poor prey will be caught dead center in it. But not me — I’m staying on the trail. 

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This winding and weaving can sure dizzy up a girl. I assure myself that I’m  marching somewhere, not just circling ‘round. About that time I spot a cairn. Thank you, forerunners, for marking time and space; for going first and leaving a sign for me. I’ll keep keeping on. 

My breathing is a bit labored the higher I climb. I feel a new breeze up high, though. The kind I didn’t feel in the valley. It’s refreshing me and bidding me along. I assume it is my second wind.

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Just as soon as I’m at peak altitude, I’m descending again. It was just a second of a summit. I pause a moment to recompose and prepare to go back down into the deep shade. I admire a web that looks like a diamond in a bark setting. What a stunning ring the Creator has presented me. I whisper, “I do.”

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Deep in the valley there’s a bridge over a dry bed. Imagine with heavy rains it begins to move below. I stand in the center of the suspended state because I can, and consider the bridges that have have been forged for me. So many extending graces and mercies… So let the rains come; I’ve got a way across. So I do; I cross. 

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I’m scaling down towards the descent of the trail. I can finally see the highway and lake and hear signs of life. I know right where I’m at, which reassures me. I’m almost there. 

I shuffle back to the trail head, and feel a little limp in my legs, but it’s a good limp. There’s a good lean that comes after walking an unknown path. I’ve journeyed through the emotions of the morning and I’ve come out on the other side. I’m so glad I didn’t quit. 

 

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