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The Forest Path

Hiking along a rocky trail, I notice a narrow pathway, veering off to the side, easily missed. My curiosity awakens. There is wonder in that wood. It is overhung by old branches. I peer between the trunks of the first trees, and it seems that God alone knows this path intimately, every leaf, every turn of the trickling rivulet. The little path turns off to the right.

This was not part of my journey. It was not part of my plan. But I do have time for an adventure. Should I enter? It seems impossible not to- I am drawn in by the pure magic of the unknown.

As I step in my mind is blank of expectations, yet full of anticipation. I know already that this is not a waste of time, that somehow this is the way I am to go. It is an unusual but strangely beautiful path, utterly unlike the worn path I had been wandering down before. Here there is a sweet aroma of various plants and flowers. I can feel and even taste the moisture as I breath in through the nose. Here is life primordial, life itself. Rich green moss summons me to remove my boots. I must pad barefoot with the Creation now. Stepping onto the moss, I find it cool and soft. Like sponges they give up their water and it runs up over my toes. What is this place but... home? How wonderful that I feel this way, yet I have never been here before!

I step over a large root and rest my hand on the rough bark of a sturdy oak. It feels eternal. It is immovable and alive and beautiful, like Him Who made it. Sitting with my back against its trunk, I study the ground beneath me. I lift my eyes and see a large healthy slug oozing happily across a wet leaf. It is my friend. I have to smile at this experience. I consider myself as well suited to this place as the creatures who live here, and more happy in that I am able to contemplate it. I am glad I took this way.

A distant bird sings a song, high and cheerful, yet with an authority as from another world. It preaches to me in sweet tones. In the sweetness, in its grace, my heart perceives an even higher Glory. SOMEONE is actually preaching to me the kindest song I ever heard: "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life."