Yesterday, I’m walking alone in the woods behind my house.
|Evening in the Pine Forest|
It’s not a very big forest, but it’s big enough to get lost in.
I’m looking up through the pine trees, taking photos and moving forward with a grand plan: I want to see the sun set through the pines, and I want to find beautiful pine cones.
A chill settles on the forest, and a strong wind snakes around the trees like it’s coming for me. I know if I keep walking in one direction, I’ll hit a road, but I’m not sure which road or how far it is from my home.
By this time, I find myself taking a winding path and tumbling out onto a foreign road like I’d been spit out from the forest’s dark mouth. I’m in some strange neighborhood now. It’s getting colder, and I’m sapped of strength.
Finally, I clench my teeth and call my husband because I have no idea where I am. He’s so loving about it, so gentle. But I’m angry at myself that I have to call him for help, and I refuse to have him drive to pick me up. Instead, I walk the mile home along a road with no sidewalk. I’m too smart to be lost. I’m too capable to need rescue. If you saw a hopeless woman without her coat, tripping along and nearly falling back into the forest, you were looking at me.
|Pine Cone on Forest Floor|
What is this deep resistance in me? What ancient sap inside of me keeps me proud and unyielding when I know I need rescue? I refuse for anyone to come find me and just take me home.
This morning before church, I review my photos: The pine trees and these cones aren’t oozing sap like they do in the warmer months. In the colder seasons, the sap thickens and hardly flows. There’s a clog in the heart of those trees until the summer sun comes and warms it, changes it.
As my husband pours warm syrup over snowman-shaped pancakes this morning, I pray that God would unclog the cold, hardened things in me. Otherwise, I’ll stay lost and wandering in that dark woods.