We wanted to go pick apples at an orchard yesterday. We found one about an hour away and tried to call but couldn't get a hold of them. Their website said they were open for business, though, so we decided to go ahead. Everybody was in the truck, and we were on our way when we tried calling again. Yes, they were open, but you couldn't pick the apples. No since in driving an hour away just to buy apples. But we were ready for some fall fun. We figured a hike in the mountains would be just the thing. And on the way, we found a roadside apple stand. Perfect!
Here was another perfect part: Rohan slept on the way there.
We spotted this barred owl near the road with a mouse or something in its beak. It dropped it though. You can see him watching it in the second picture. (Most of the pictures in this post were taken by Jeremiah.)
"Sing, O heavens ..."
"...for the LORD has done it..."
"...O earth beneath..."
"...Break forth into singing.."
"... O forest, and every tree in it..." -Isaiah 44:23
To hike in the fall is divine.
To fall on the hike is truly to experience the Divine.
In the below picture, I'm sitting on a ridge with Zahana and Rohan. The river is falling in a cascade directly behind me and around to the left of the picture. You can't really tell how high and fast and deep this part of the river is flowing from the pictures. Maybe the third picture up gives you an idea, where Larkin is smiling at the camera and the water is crashing behind him.
So Larkin climbs up to where I am, jumps down to the ledge beind me and screams. He's in the water! There I am with Zahana and Rohan on a ridge just wide enough to sit on, Jeremiah is at the bottom of the slippery, rocky slope, and Larkin is up to his chest, clinging to a rock. You know how it is in these moments. A million thoughts race through your mind in seemingly slow motion but really only taking a fraction of a second.
I ended up leaving Zahana and Rohan where they were, knowing they were too scared to move, and jumped down to haul Larkin out of the water, lift him up to the ridge, then herd them all towards safer ground. It sounds dramatic, but it was all over in a few seconds.
By the time Jeremiah made it up, the critical moment had passed, and he continued taking pictures.
Miah, seeing her brother on solid ground, went off the collect moss and lichen.
Partially reclothed and with the promise to be carried back to the truck, Larkin smiles. My boy is OK. And so are the rest of us.
Because we saw how long and fast and deep the river flowed. Then we saw "how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." (Ephesians 3:18)
He said at first he wasn't holding onto anything, yet he didn't sink or float away. I told him his angel was holding him up.
"Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways."
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven." -Jesus, Matthew 18:10
"For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
Indeed. They were.