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I Went to the Woods

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.   Henry David Thoreau

Friday morning, Matt, Lydia and I packed up along with our best friends Liz, Ryan and Lynnlee, and we headed to the woods for a camping adventure. Our bags were stuffed with the essentials like s’mores fixings, hot dogs and Matt’s favorite plaid shirt. I had forgotten to pack true essentials like toilet paper, a can opener and extra sneakers. But we made it work. (Liz was smart enough to remember toilet paper so don’t think we had to resort to leaves or anything like that.)

We explored the trails, found our first geocache and then found a rather large water moccasin. The girls made mudpies, drew their names in the dirt and gathered pounds of acorns like squirrels preparing for a cold winter. We sat around the campfire for hours laughing and telling stories. Saturday, we went for a horseback ride, and ten minutes in rain drops descended through the canopy of leaves above us. Lydia looked up at me from the front of the saddle and said, “It’s raining, Momma! Now we can really make mudpies!”  Then she sang “Amazing Grace” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” while we trotted along our bodies drenched with rain and my soul bursting with gratitude.

Surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, I was reminded that every day I wake up I get the chance to live. The chance to explore and learn and grow and see new things. Every flickering flame, every sunbeam bursting forth, every crimson mushroom, a chance to marvel at my God.

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