Recently I was trying to explore a piece of land and reached out to my son for his help.

The goal was to reach the Northeast corner of the property, which holds about 300 large trees. This corner pitches up and away from a Beaver Pond and contains potential camping spots, lumber, and a quiet sanctuary.

To reach that high land, we had to cross a creek, a meadow of high grasses, and then traverse a cedar swamp. The Northern White Cedar is an interesting tree. It forms hummocks, two to three feet above the ground, often showing little caves underneath. Cedar logs lay crosswise covered in moss. It is treacherous to cross even during the dry season. When it is wet, one can’t know how deep the water is or whether a moss-covered hummock will sustain your weight. That week had seen heavy rain. 

My son was the trail finder, encourager, and rescue team rolled into one. At least twice I fell back into the water. Trying to turn about, find a foothold, discover a branch to pull myself up, I wound up almost chest high in water. With good cheer, he steadied me, offered me a way up, and then patiently waited. Although I only carried a small pack, as my clothes soaked up water, I exhausted myself just moving. We thought we had reached high ground several times, only to be disappointed by further fen and fern. His calmness and confidence lifted me as much as his strength. We made it to the sunny forest, explored it, and learned a navigable way out.

I was inspired, that he was willing to spend his time, reviving me those few times and that he was excited as I was to explore new territory.

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