A Haines Home Companion: On the Trail
This is how I grew up, pulling myself up drop-offs by roots, swinging like Jane, and bending low to fiddle with the rocks, how time chisels, builds, or crumbles them according to environment. A sucker for fossils and micah, I’ve added rocks from special places to my jewelry box, not like diamonds from tiffany’s but rather like my smoothed-down stony crystal from the shores of Inish Boffin.
Foothills of Appalachia did it to me, arrowheads and coral upturned in the yard, shark tooth from the ceiling of caves.
So I guess this qualifies me as a good mother for these 4 boys who seem straight made of apples and dirt. Seth, too, was made for this and carries a flashlight all the time. He’s ready to see. The boys found a cave, and Seth said they could go in. Isaac said it glistened in there. He saw no bats.
I carried the baby on my back as much as I could. He fought it, wanted to walk the tall edge of the trail like his brothers. So Seth took him on his chest. Titus practically dangled off the world, and I wasn’t afraid for him a bit.
The three big boys were the ones bouncing in confident circles at cliffs over the water. I kept saying, “Watch your feet. Stay on the path. Make sure your feet are firm!” One did a little sideways karate jump directly after my repeating that phrase, and he got grounded from legos for a day.
When we reached the top, I was winded. Couples were kissing there but stopped to take a celebratory photo for us. The boys pulled out snacks from their backpacks and guzzled water. Dark was coming, so we skid down as fast as we could after standing and inhaling the higher air a minute.
When we got to the bottom, it was so dark that the trail disappeared.
Metaphors are part of our eternal scheme. Remember the path, the light, the feet standing firm. Listen to His voice. He’s telling you to go whether to the right or the left.