Quiet long weekend around here. Peter was out of town. Fortunately, I had a small, furry friend to keep me company.
While we might not be grown-up enough to have our own dog yet, we are happy to dog-sit for friends.
Sunday morning, with the dog, I finally took to the woods nearby and explored the trails. About ten minutes from our house there are kilometres of hiking and mountain biking trails, a labyrinth through the woods.
It’s rare for me to miss church without a reason like illness or travel but I did this week. I felt the need to be outside, to be quiet, to be alone. It was good. It was what I needed.
I attached my trusty bear bell to the dog and we headed out. It was a cool, sunny day and we never saw a single other person. Exactly what I wanted.
Nothing makes me feel small like a forest. Small, not in an insignificant manner, but in perspective. Staring up at the tree branches far above my head, I am reminded once more that my life is a moment in the world. I will live and die and the world continues.
And yet, my life has value. The woods and the trees and the ferns and the wildflowers are beautiful and precious to walk amongst but I am loved by the God who created them. Better than that, I am created in His image and He loves me. More than I know, really.
Thinking of all this, I came across that strange Coast phenomenon known as “forest cars”. That’s when, for whatever reason, someone drives their car into the forest and abandons it.
Peter insists it’s just a thing people do but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.
It’s always strange to come across one. The solid machinery of a car steadily rusted and eroded as the natural world takes it back.
There’s something post-apocalyptic about it, as if the world has ended and the vestiges of human kind are slowly disappearing. As I peered in through what was once the driver’s window, I heard the steady drum of a woodpecker over head.
Further along the path, I found this sign:
This seemed helpful but unnecessary. What if the woodpecker moves to a different area? Not until I saw the next sign did I remember.
Like I said, the forest here is filled with trails. I knew that and I’d seen a map covered in their odd and whimsical names but I didn’t expect them to be so well marked. They were.
Following a few signs, I found a looping path back to my own front door.
And that was Sunday.