Intersecting Trails and Communion In The Forest

“I also know that my watch moves more slowly when I am on foot. Walking affects not just space and distance but also time itself. In our high-speed way of living – which we intriguingly call ‘driven’ – we miss many things.” (Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking)

The weather was awesome so i headed out on the snowshoes again. I did the first three kilometers with snowshoes, took them off and tried walking. I was not breaking through the snow so I was able to move along more swiftly.

At about 3.5 km out I was running out of energy, as I had skipped dinner earlier in the day. I located a nice log to sit on and spead out my stove and equipment to make hot chocolate and have a little trail mix snack.

I also broke out my “Communion Flask”, with an unnamed communion liquid content inside, and a flake of communion bread.

The communion flask was given to me by an American friend in Mali. He lives over 100 km south of where I was.  We have enjoyed getting to know each other the last few years. The flask has engraved in French, “Do this in memory of me.” 

At the time, Jeff had no idea that I find the wilderness hikes a very soul refreshing time, and that I often have Communion in the forest. I guess I can get away with such a spuritual forest rite, having been ordained at one point in my life. Though I do not buy into the idea  that communion is to be administered by clergy, nor kept hidden away behind a church door. The ordinances belong to the people of faith, and all should freely practice them I think. 

There is a theological or eccleastical conversation for ya….. “Communion as Protest”

Here is the flask with the bread and some kind of “wine” I’ll not mention. But i assure you that its communion contents really enhanced the hot choclate as well.

This is too much info for some of you… so skip to the next paragraph. In all my years of walking in this location I had never once encountered another person back here on these faint paths. Wouldn’t  you know it, nature called and i made the mistake of not going too far into the woods. I was just hiking my drawers up and I could hear someone coming along the path I broke.  

Turned out to be my 25 year old son, thank goodness. What are the chances that the one time in sixteen years you encounter human life, it is at such an inopportune time? 

My son Ben headed out for a hike, but started from a different place. He soon intersected the fresly broken trail I was making at about the 2.5 km mark, so he followed the trail he found being made, to see where it goes, knowing  full well it was me in this back woods. 

After my snack I headed deeper into the bush, but turned just shy of my goal of 5 km in, as i felt like one of my winter boots might be causing a blister. 

I was on my way back home when Ben appeared. He has never found this trail i was on, and he liked it. So we followed my path home; instead of his, so he could become familiar with its meanderings.

It was a total 8.5 km hike in snow with a backpack. A good workout. 

Earlier, as I ate my snack, boiled water, and took a few pictures, I then sat still, simply listening. I listened for a long time.

There was a total silence. The barely audible sound of air, not wind, gently flowing through the evergreens and birch trees.

The odd crow flew overhead. The volume of sound from the wings of a crow are startling in a silent firest. 

The pure natural silence filled me up with good things. 

It was a good day. 

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