My husband is the adventurer, the explorer. He wants to climb mountains and hike trails. I want to take photos of both. We enjoy the outdoors but our approach is different.
Last summer we were on a trail off the Blueridge Parkway in North Carolina. It promised waterfalls and mountain vistas. We got unmarked trails, muddy paths and the sound of distant traffic that mimicked the sound of water.
He was slogging along behind me, making sure my feet were steady on the uneven trail, swinging on a limb to cross over the mud holes. He and my brother didn’t have a care that we’d walked far longer than we should have and no idea if we were still on the trail.
My niece spotted an owl in a tree and there were a few wild berries to attract my attention but I was certain, we were lost.
Lost is not where I want to be. I’ve been there before, maybe you have too. Being found can’t come soon enough. I suggested we might have gotten off the trail. They were certain we’d end up in the right place.
The short story is the advertised 1.5-hour hike took us 3. The only waterfall we saw was 1/4 mile from the start of our hike and I’m still convinced it wasn’t the one indicated on the map.
The bible story about the lost son is, perhaps, my favorite bible story. The son who left his family to make his own way. He left with his inheritance. His wealth attracted friends and good living until it was gone. The friends left and he ended up dumpster diving for food. He was lost to his stubbornness and pride. He was in a foreign city in a life he never imagined, which was barely a life at all.
The happy ending is a father who met him with open arms. A father who didn’t say ‘I told you so’ but threw a party. He gave thanks for the son he thought lost was found.
There are times we’ve been lost and not known it. We’re determined our plans will work out, eventually. We don’t ask for directions. We don’t reach out for help. If we’re fortunate, a moment of clarity will come. Or our bellies will be hungry for more than wild berries. Maybe a park ranger comes by. When our pride is gone we’re ready to accept help.
Getting lost doesn’t mean we stop taking vacations or adventures. It does mean we check our preparations and pride. We’re willing to take suggestions and accept guidance.
We’re going on another hike this summer. We have a new trail that promises more waterfalls. I think we’ll find them this year.