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Hiking with God

We’d been on the trail fifteen minutes–all down hill– when our son slowed down long enough to raise his right arm toward the sun breaking through the trees.  “I see God!” he shouted. 

We’d been listening to the increasing roar of water as we descended deeper into the trees.  And we’d stood by colossal root balls of tipped over trees.  We’d even fingered a few fungi–probably the poisonous kind, knelt real close to two green slugs, and slapped a few mystery berries from my son’s mouth.  But this sudden revelation stopped us all. 

My husband and daughter retreated a few yards to where my son was paused and still pointing.  Then cautiously we all asked, “where, buddy?  Where do you see him?”  And he aimed his finger again, as if it was obvious, and said,  “in the clouds.”

Which, I suppose, is why we hike with children.  We would miss these things.  We would zip up the trail and back and pause for nothing.  We would absorb the beauty of the trees and moss and water trickles, but we would not wonder about them or throw a stick in them or run our hand by or over or in them.  We might even ‘miss’ God.  As there wouldn’t be time.

But with children, there is only time.  Time to stray from the beaten trail.  To sniff and poke and point.

Time to pick a stray huckleberry bush and split the four berries.  One for each of us.

Time to inch across a log bridge above the river and hug the heck out of each other. 


Time to dig a hole for one child and wonder why there is just one wipe in the backpack and no spare diaper for the other.  Time to be creative.

Time to carry big sticks.  Even if it’s impractical.

Time to have one child click the camera while the other sneaks into the picture from behind.


Time to keep walking…


And time to turn around.

And simply time to call it a day. 

Thank you, God.  For everything.


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