Last weekend was full of opportunities to give and few opportunities to rest. In other words, I came into the following week exhausted. As I sat to think of another topic to write about, I struggled to come up with an idea I could run with. So, I did what I always do when I am experiencing writer’s block: I went for a walk on the boardwalk. As I walked, I started taking in all the nature around me. It was then that I was flooded with random thoughts. I’m not sure if these thoughts are as much about being a father as they are about reflecting on life, but I figured I would share them anyway. Maybe something here will inspire you this week. I hope you enjoy the experience as I share my walk with you.
I saw a web hanging between two branches, and yet I did not see the spider. I know that she is there, somewhere along the edge, waiting for her prey. It is only when the trap is sprung that she will make herself known. Then, she will have her fill of the fool.
I remember someone once told me that it takes the sun’s rays a few minutes to reach the earth. Others have said, though some stars have burned out long ago, they will still shine over us tonight. What I receive at this time is a gracious gift of the past. Though the sun and stars will still be here tomorrow, my days on this earth will swiftly come to an end. And so, I can’t help but wonder- when I am gone, will others still feel my warmth; will they still see my light?
Down on the ground, along the path, there are leaves of brown and orange and red. These leaves were once green and full of life, just like the ones overhead. Now, they are frail and near the end of their time. I admire the beauty of the flourishing leaves above, but there is beauty even still in the leaves that I see below.
I chose to take a rest by a still stream. In a short while, I noticed two small fish swirling in the light. Having sat a little longer, I witnessed a crayfish emerge from a rock and quickly return. Then it came to my attention a plethora of dragonflies, water striders, and other insects hovering on the surface of the water. More and more did I see as I took in what lay before me. But then, I saw out in the distance more of the stream, where the light could not reach and my eyes failed me. This I now know- what I see I may observe, but there will always be more beyond my gaze.
Out in the distance, I see a bird gliding above the trees. With jealous eyes, I follow him as he soars through the air. The vast sky around me is his to roam. I could imagine nothing better. If I stay a little longer, I might see to which tree he has laid his nest- a modest home of twigs and moss. Surely there is another creature who will rest better tonight.
All around me, there is a field of grass. When the wind is strong- the whole field feels its burden. When the wind blows softly- one blade feels its impact, and so do those close by. The rest of the field is left unmoved.
To my side, there is a tree. Along the tree, there is a vine. The tree has spread its roots firmly in the ground. Over many years, the tree has stood strong against the elements. The vine clings to the strength of the tree. In only a small measure of time, the vine has reached as far as the tree would allow. Though both the tree and the vine have risen to a great height, in one vital way they are not the same- with only my bare hands, I could pull the vine to the ground, but I could not do so to the tree.
These are my thoughts. Perhaps you might share what you have been thinking about this week. Please feel free to leave a comment if you would like.
As always, stay Rock Solid, dads!
Brian Faust is the Fatherhood Program Coordinator of Rock Solid Fatherhood in Warsaw, IN. He is the husband of the world’s best wife and father of three beautiful girls. He has nearly a decade of mentorship and mental health experience. Brian has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grace College. It is his desire to come alongside men of all walks of life as they embrace their role as partner and father with rock solid strength.
I love this. I love the connection with nature in your piece.
I had a lot of fun writing this post. It was refreshing to slow down and take in the world around me. I appreciate your encouragement, mom.