scents of quiet

Scooping blue tortilla chips into my sandwich bag, I fumbled a couple. As they fractured near my shoe, I admitted to myself some apprehension. Soon my friend Kathy would arrive, and I would climb into her pickup, and we would go hiking in lovely scenery, as we often have before (see here, here, and here).

I knew we'd have fun; I just didn't know if our connection as friends would be the same.

All smiles, Kathy greeted me and drove us out to Finley Wildlife Preserve, between here and Corvallis. I was glad, when we made our first stop at a viewpoint, that I'd worn shorts. The day was livening. Scents of long grass and green shrubs mingled with dust from a machine out working.
She set up her scope. We were already zeroing in on the tricky conversation I had anticipated. Soon the birds were all but forgotten as we stood on the little nature deck sharing back and forth. A half hour or so later, I knew things were going to be okay.

It's weird to now be going to different churches. But it's not a real difference in our friendship. We're still both as serious about God as ever, needing study and practice of life surrounding Him even more than we needed final droughts of summer in golden air.

"I don't feel rejected by you," Kathy told me. I nearly wept, having feared the opposite.

This past spring, Kathy earned her master's degree in theological studies. I work as Director for a small nonprofit office. When we venture onto hiking trails, we are simply sisters of our season, relating on many levels. Munching snacky lunches, we assemble our stories. And sometimes, like the other day, weather and scenery bless us beyond expectation.




We get a little silly. Attempting poses, taking those paths less traveled upon which we might get lost in oaken forests.



More than once in the shadows, Kathy stopped me. Her look silenced us both. We needed to listen.

Ceasing movement causes, first, a feeling. Holding still is work. Then, wonderment blankets my legs (maybe they feel it quicker because they get real exercise). Sensation covers all my skin. It zings like noise of a billion tiny wings -- those insects unseen in the gloaming.

Sailing in the blue patch above treetops, a buzzard makes no sound. Creaks and chirps signal frog cities. A squirrel scrabbles like acorns down a trunk. Stellar jays jar the world, happy to emphasize.

We walked. We could have forever. The memories and speculations never would have ended.



But our trail of friendship needs its counterpart; it must take us into faith-struggle, into family-bearing, over new potential barriers and back together when we may.

Comments

Oh, how I envy you and Kathy that walk. Makes me so homesick for the lessons of the trail. A note re Switched At Birth. It's gone into the great archives in the sky. I am finally out of Typepad and into Wordpress with a new home. It's called Memoir on-the-fly, a brand new baby blogette.
Deanna said…
I've looked for you, Beth! Figured you would explain the blank screen soon enough. Hey, maybe you can tell me how to get a photo for my avatar in WP...