learning to walk

Yesterday we went to the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. All summer, my daughter has been begging me to “take us to the mountains,” referring to her little brother and herself. And we were planning on spending this weekend at a camp in the mountains, so, sure, no problem. But after last weekend, we were still exhausted. So we would go on a picnic. But it rained on Saturday. And on Sunday.

Sunday night, Carrie woke up after having been asleep a short time, and she was crying. She had realized that summer was over, because she had started school, and daddy hadn’t taken her to the mountains. Needless to say, I felt about two inches tall. I explained that we would try and go on a picnic the next day, and hopefully it wouldn’t rain again. But I knew that we would be going even if the weather was not agreeable, because I had given my word.

Thankfully, the weather cooperated, and we fed trout and saw beautiful panoramas that included Longs and Torreys, two of the fifty-two peaks over 14,000 feet here in Colorado. They met a man who had two black horses and a carriage and he had them sit up in the carriage and talk to the horses. Then we had lunch and took a short hike.

It was interesting helping them discover how to walk on a mountain trail. For some reason, until that moment, I did not realize that, in a way, you have to learn to walk all over again. Lift you feet a little higher, so not to trip over the tree roots or rocks. Test your balance more deliberately before committing your weight fully to a step. At one point, Carrie tripped on a rock and fell fully prone, ending up with scuffed hands and knees. Will, on the other hand, seemed more natural with the whole process. In my mind, it became a metaphor for all the new things we encounter in our lives, and the attitude best adopted as we tread the new ground before us. Hopefully we are able to teach the little ones to go forward, but also test the experience before plunging in and scuffing up who-knows-what.

We all had a wonderful time in God’s great creation. As Amy said, “I think we’ll come back.”

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