‘wanna take a walk?’ shawn asked me early this afternoon. the sun was sifting through the tree limbs that are becoming more and more barren as fall transitions into winter. the sunlight was dancing on the ground. the air was crisp. it was the perfect autumn day.
i am always up for a walk.
we put on our beanies and gloves and tennis shoes and headed out into the glorious afternoon.
we have ‘lived’ at our house since july, but really we have only been home enough to enjoy it this month. we have made our job during this time off simple: exploration. everything from finding the best cheap thai place to becoming familiar with the trails in walking distance.
something happens to My Love in the woods that is almost magical. he becomes a boy. he’s staring at bugs on the ground, jumping on fallen down trees to see if they will break, playing in the mud… i love being an audience to his childlike spirit. the first time i was sure i loved him, he was skipping rocks in a creek. delight had overwhelmed his face and i thought ‘how can i not spend my life with this man?’ i thought of that as we found new trails in the woods today. i am so thankful.
‘we are on a little woods-y romp’ he said and grinned as we continued on.
‘did you know that salmon and steelheads are actually the same fish?’ he asked me as we stared into the water.
‘nope.’ the truth is i couldn’t even tell you what a salmon looks like!
we heard a big splash and shawn’s eyes searched for the fish.
he put his finger to his lips, beckoned me closer, and said ‘shh’…he pointed to a fish that thought it was hiding near a rock. i felt kind of like i was with the crocodile hunter or something… who knows where to look for hiding fish?!??!
we continued down the stream. i pointed to a dead fish (the only one i spotted on my own) ‘salmon?’
‘nah.. look how long and skinny it is…not a salmon’
‘so,’ i try to think of a good i-am-interested-in-what-you-like kind of question, ‘so what is the difference between a steelhead and a salmon?’
he stops looking into the water and straightens up. ah ha! i’ve got him now. *grin* “well, basically, both are born in lakes and streams. the ones that stay in fresh water get fat and stout..those are salmon. the ones that go out to the ocean are lean and long…steelheads.” there’s a pause as we walk further down the river bed. ‘the craziest things is that the fish know exactly where they are born and before they die they go back to that same place and lay eggs. they instinctually know the exact location where they came from.”
he kept walking (and maybe talking, although i doubt it: man of few words) but i was lost in thought.
i love how nature gives evidence to God. even fish know where they came from. instinctually. home is a place that is always known to them…always inside of them. the Bible says all of creation ‘groans’ with longing for the day when the earth is redeemed… creation knows where it came from…it has a memory of the garden. and so do we… as humans we have a longing for home…an instinctual knowledge about our origins.
i pray that you never quiet the voice inside of you that tells you were made for somewhere else…it may be the faintest of memories…one that haunts you,…one that is here and gone in a moment…but never quit reaching for it.
and take a good woods-y romp yourself before it gets too cold. i have always maintained you can learn more about the majesty of God from being outside than you ever will from a theology book.