An Expedition Through All Things Glorious

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Dear J.,

This evening I had such a delightful little walk that I had to come home and write to you about it. I initially thought I would walk for 30 minutes. 3x that many minutes later, I think I was almost home. And I’m pretty sure I was smiling the whole time.

It snowed today, but it was a really wet snow. I bundled up in my snow gear, including snow pants and boots, and headed out. I crossed the parking lot and the road, and walked along my favorite trail to get to the trail I had in mind. I love to pause along my favorite trail and pray for a moment. I think about you there, often. I hope you’ll get to see it someday.

After leaving my favorite trail and making some progress toward the destination I had in mind, the Spirit invited me to take a left turn instead of a right turn. This led me to a place that’s overgrown in the summer but matted down (especially after a heavy snowfall) in the winter. As I walked behind and among the trees, I discovered that I wasn’t alone. First, there were some BEAUTIFUL deer there. No buck, only doe and maybe very young bucks. But they had long white fluffy tails and seemed happy and healthy. They ran from me, but not too far. I took a picture and walked a bit more. They always kept a good 40 yards off, but didn’t actually run away until much later. I also saw some birds of prey (I think they were hawks) flying from one tree as I passed it onto another. As I approached the latter tree, they returned back in the direction they had come. They were LARGE birds, and seemed so elegant in flight. I felt lucky to see them.

At that point I turned and looked out over the field I was in. It was still and reverent, and I was grateful for the environment. It was the perfect place to ponder, and just to be.

I walked away from that place and back onto a trail. Then I walked out toward and onto the rugby fields, and as I walked across them I noticed great flocks of black birds moving across the sky. They were gracefully riding the air currents, moving in flowing masses in a long stream. I could hear their chatter, too, though it was quiet compared to the chatter from the birds in the videos I sent you.

After I exited the rugby field I walked across a massive parking lot. Just at the right moment, all of the lights in the lot came on simultaneously. It wasn’t exactly a Christmas tree lighting, but it still felt magical. I crossed the lot, and then I DID see some Christmas trees (sans lights, haha). I walked down a little hill and could hear a rushing brook. It reminded me of primary songs. 🥰 I walked through new snow, and felt like I was standing in a wood. Then I passed the University’s cross country track, and retraced my steps to the parking lot. That was probably my favorite diversion today, but there was still more to come!

I walked across the lot in another direction, exited the lot, and at last found myself on the trail I had intended to walk all along. The most fun thing I saw on that path was a set of ski tracks! Someone (or multiple someones) had been out cross-country skiing! That was so cool to see. Definitely I thought of you: do you downhill or cross-country ski?? I kept walking, and spotted a bike trail through the snow. Then I saw the bike, just leaning against a tree. I looked around for its rider (it was a NICE bike). I found the rider, kind of leaning against a tree looking out over the valley. I made sure he was ok, and then walked on. It was cool, because I think he was from the Caribbean, which is awesome. I want to go there someday. Do you like warm sandy beaches??

I walked further along the trail, saw more ski tracks, and finally stopped at the exit for the trail. I stood there and prayed and had some great thoughts. I realized that your ancestors in particular were likely right there on that spot one day many years ago. You really should come to Iowa while I’m here. I would really like to show you around, take you to Nauvoo, and help you experience your history. I trust you’ve done some of that before, but we really should make an activity of it. I would love that.

I took the long way home (is it possible for one walking path to be more hygge than another?), and crossed along my favorite trail again. I nearly didn’t stop before passing it, but did slow momentarily. I had gotten a text from a friend asking for help (well, he wanted to talk about his data analysis), so I felt an urgency to get home. And I had been a long time walking. 😊

Ultimately it was a great walk. I would have loved to have you along, to talk with, or just to walk with. Maybe someday. I hope you have a wonderful day!


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March 2023