August 14, 2023 – Day 1
Come. Sit by the stream with me. The water bubbles and froths, cascading over the rocks, smoothing their rough surfaces.
The water pools among the pebbles.
It looks like it’s dancing.
And as I sit here basking in the warmth of the orange flame and the rushing of waters, I come home.
After the rain, we start up the trail and I am instantly transported into a magical realm–where the mist enshrouds the little river like a blanket of fairy dust.
It’s hard not to hold my breath with the wonder of it all.
But when I do breathe, my lungs fill with the fragrance that only a forest can give when it’s been freshened by a cool rain. I inhale all the loveliness and exhale all the things that have been weighing me down.
Slippery rocks and soggy soil greet my feet while branches of scrub oak rain down a confetti of welcoming rain drips as I slide past their overhanging branches.
We meet an old woman slowly meandering her way up the trail. She carries a large walking stick with bright bells and a feather tied on top. She gives her sage wisdom to stay up high and go real slow when the path gets steep and slippery. She’s been on this trail many times.
We thank her, continue on our way, and soon find the muddy incline she warned us of. I slow down as I see the tracks of shoes sliding down the trail. I wish I had a walking stick.
Then Patrick stands below me and takes my hand to steady me. He can be my support. I slide just a bit, but he holds me fast, and we finally make it to the end…at least there’s a marker saying it is.
But it’s not how I remember it. I don’t see the rushing spring beginning its waterfall descent. The trail continues upward, so we go on, just a little bit further, hoping there’s something more to find.
And then we see it…the start of the spring. It’s a waterfall with no beginning–the water just pours forth from the mountain’s deep belly.
Moss and tiny green leaves grow on each rock and the water appears out of nowhere–like magic.
I feel so close to my Maker–He who made this wonder of the world just for me, He who is the living water Himself, springing forth from the rocks–to give me life as I behold His wondrous ways. To give my heart and soul sweet refreshing as I drink deeply from the well that never runs dry.
Soon we are joined by the old woman and she shows us how to hike up and back behind the rocks to see up close where the water gushes out of the mountain. We follow obediently, to a way we would never have explored on our own. The ancients always know the way.
And then she continues onward, across slippery rocks and cascading water. She tells us our young legs will get along just fine, but we don’t want our feet wet, and we worry for her safety.
But on she plods, one footstep at a time–until she makes it across right to the very beginning of the spring.
She sits down on a rock and Patrick breathes a sigh of relief. “She’s made it,” he says.
And she has. She has shown us the source of the living water.
Today’s hike through wild and wonder has been one great metaphor of life.
August 15, 2023 – Day 2
We start a fire just as the sun starts peeking through the canopy. The smoke swirls thick, billowing in swaths, floating upwards, like my prayers rising to the heavens–pleading for each of my precious children and for the new opportunities that lie before me. But my gratitude swells fuller than even the petitions. Praise to the Lord for my sweet husband–his steadiness, his goodness. Praise to the Lord for this chance to retreat to this wild and wondrous place.
Hot cider refreshes me with warmth and vigor as we watch the last of the flames die out.
Then I sit on the hearthstone of the fire, gazing out over the lovely waters coursing down and I remember what my husband said last night–how he wants to be like a river continually running into the fountain of all righteousness. I do too.
The water runs down the mountain and I must follow. It’s time to leave this place of transformation but return home changed.
A COSI Print for you:
Download a print to help you plan your very own trip into the deep wild of nature. There are two uniquely designed versions – a color and black and white design.
For our trip, I wanted to keep it as simple and relaxing as possible. So we slept on an air mattress in the back of our truck, brought easy meals, and packed lightly. Our focus was on soaking up the beauties of nature, hiking, pondering, and for me, writing. It was such a needed getaway for us. And in this busy world, carving out time to retreat into nature is a hallmark of “the road less traveled.” There’s something about nature that connects you to the Creator and helps you feel “at home.”
How often you need a trip into the wild is up to you. I am in the process of discovering what works best for me. Your own trip can be customized in a variety of ways using the COSI print.
To learn more about what COSI prints are, click here.