Love Song

I was awakened this morning with a quickening in my spirit. It was not a voice exactly, but more of an anticipation deep inside of me. I have been wanting to try my new knee out on the longer, more difficult terrain of Raven Cliffs, but for some reason it hasn’t worked out for anyone to come along. Today, even after it was apparent I would have to go solo, I knew I would go anyway. It had to be today.
One foot onto the trail and I heard a love song. Really it was more of a feeling that was surging around me. It was as if I was being drawn down the trail, deeper and deeper by the Lord. I can only say that though the weather was perfect and I had the trail to myself, it was more than that. The eyes of my heart could sense him just up ahead, like an invisible game of catch me if you can. Moving quickly, I tried to catch up to him. Just around each bend in the trail I felt as if he had stopped to let me catch up to him, only to move on ahead of me just as I arrived where he was. However, his song surrounded me and at each place he had waited for me I could hear it clearly. The water was both treble and bass…high gurgling of the stream and the low thunder of the falls. The birds carried the melody. My quiet footfalls were the rhythm. The wind had the trees dancing, but only at the very tops, which created a heavenly swishing like angels’ wings. It gave me butterflies, and chill bumps all at the same time. I caught myself smiling at this delightfully strange walk. My senses were heightened. I watched and listened for any movement around me. Every detail stood out, from a distance hawk’s cry, to a snake slithering across my path. (It was a small one.) I took my time because I felt the Lord was delighting in my delight, if that makes sense. Yet, I dared not stop for fear that his presence would move on without me.
I found that my tiptoe-through-stream muscles, my balance-across-log muscles, my climb-over-boulder muscles were all in working order. This was a welcome surprise, because having not hiked this trail for nearly a year I wasn’t sure how it would go. Just being in the woods again was exhilarating. Praying as I walked, which is my habit, I told the Lord so. I thanked him for the gift of a body that can move, and I recognized that these walks of ours help to sustain me, especially when things are difficult and unclear in my life. Here I can leave the stress behind, and still contemplate. My mind clears and rests.
As I was walking, feeling myself relax into the day I came across a word. I am not even kidding, it was written in the dirt. Still having a sense of his presence just up ahead, I hesitated to stop, but curiosity won out. There were several letters written, but footprints had made all but three letters illegible. Sow. That was the word written in the dirt on the trail right in front of me. Sow… meaning to plant seed, to set something in motion, to begin, to scatter abroad, to scatter upon the earth for growth. I so love it when he does mysterious stuff like this. If I could have run I would have gone ahead at full speed, because I knew there would be more to the message. Just knew. In about a half of a mile there were more words, all of them illegible, but there was a heart drawn right there in the dirt. It was a game now and I was up and moving again. I went ahead, possibly another quarter mile before the word love appeared in the dirt at my feet. Sow love. A simple message. A directive. An action. I looked for more words along my way. There were none.
The song was loud in my ears. I made it to the place of the surround sound where two streams come together. The trail turns from the river then and around the next bend or two the gurgling water fades into the sounds of the forest. Today the moment I reached this part of the trail I noticed it. Silence…an absence of sound, which is a rare occurrence in nature. There is always SOME kind of sound. Today, there was nothing… a rest in the midst of the symphony. Then a new movement. Almost to the end of the trail, I hiked under trees, and through them. Across water and rocks. Up the Billy Goat trail to the crescendo. Tucked in between monstrous granite cliffs which tower over the landscape, are the falls which are hidden in the cleft of the rock. I found a flat rock warmed by the sun and I stretched out at the foot of the falls and listened as he sang his song over me. The rock trembled with the power of the song. I don’t know how long I was there beside the pool, but when I was refreshed from my morning of worship, I sat up. I watched the water throw itself down from the cliffs above me and my heart heard “I will hide you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand. Do not be afraid. Sow love.”
You may find it odd, this walk of mine, but it is his way with me. It is his words to me that sustain me and nourish my spirit. Whether they are written in his book, or my heart or in the dirt…they are the lyrics of his love song.

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