The Day I Met the Son
Why does morning come so early in the day? It’s so beautiful and peaceful at this hour I wish it came later so I could enjoy it better, like around noon and after five cups of hot suger enriched java. After unzipping my sleeping bag, stretching my arms over my head, and yawning gigantically for good measure I decided it was time to tackle my morning hike. I was off for the week so I had grabbed my camping gear and took off for some much needed rest and relaxation and a chance to reconnect with God who I felt I had misplaced somewhere along the way between work and my daily routines. Though at this moment as I gazed upon the mountain in front of me through the tent’s opening, I was having an inner dialogue with myself. Boy did that mountain look tall and treacherous and did this sleeping bag feel warm and secure. If I shillyshallied much longer I would lose the benefits of the morning coolness and regret not getting an early start. Besides, Scruffy, my terrier, was at this moment wiggling and jiggling all around my head licking all exposed parts of my face, ears, and neck with his foul morning breath. He was definitely more of a morning creature than I. Boy were we a mismatched twosome.
I may be a temporary fugitive from civilization but I hadn’t forsaken my coffee addiction so my hike would be delayed long enough for me to do a short bible reading and percolate some coffee the old fashioned way, over a campfire, while Scruffy enjoyed his morning romp with the wild life and his pet squirrel Rocky who had also accompanied us on this outing. Rocky was semi-domesticated but was a faithful little fellow who had adopted us after we saved his live from drowning in our pool and he seldom ventured far from our little clique.
“Okay guys, let’s hit the trail.” I used that term loosely as there were no trails since we weren’t at any public park. I just picked this mountain for its distance from any major population center. I adjusted my back pack, filled with all kinds of emergency supplies, like my coffee thermos,(that was the first item on my list next to my bottle of wine) trail mix, doggy treats , nuts, water bottles, sandwiches, a first aid kit and booklet, binoculars (in case God was out of focus), my bible and cell phone,(which was absolutely useless as it was getting no service, but maybe it would when I got to the top,) then headed up the base of the mountain searching for something of a footpath and decided I was going to have to be creative and assume straight up was the only way to go. Scruffy jetted off in front of me playing tour guide while Rocky skittered up into the tree tops to be the real guide. Why not follow them, after all animals have a good sense of direction, don’t they. Besides the direction they took was as good as any.
The mountain was thick with wild bush and trees of varying sizes that blocked me from the sun. No need for SPF on this trip, at least not till I arrived at the summit. The incline wasn’t very steep, but I still used tree trunks to pull myself up from time to time cutting a notch in a trunk every so often so I could find my way back. It took me a few times to realize I should notch the opposite side as that would be the direction I’d be returning. Duh. I wasn’t worried, remember, I have Scruffy and Rocky. They’ll get us back to base camp. About an hour into my hike I heard voices off to my left so I navigated in that direction and discovered four men through the labyrinth of tree trunks. They were youngish, bearded men wearing sandals and tunics with broad cloth belts, cloth satchels hung over their shoulders, they actually looked like religious zealots of some sort and generally appeared harmless. From what I could hear they were chatting amiably amongst themselves about the leader’s father who was some sort of important person somewhere. I didn’t want to take any chances being a lone female, the news is too full of unbelievable acts of violence towards my gender so I steered myself back to my trail and left them to theirs. Of course however, Scruffy had different notions. He sensed the prospect of new friends, which is out of his character as he shies away from interlopers as a rule, and scampered over to them despite my hoarse whispers calling him back, so much for trying to stay unnoticed.
Dad gum it. I had to reveal myself and go collect my dog that was being abundantly petted and “oohed” over by the four strangers. They really couldn’t be bad after all if they loved dogs. Oh, and now Rocky had to get his share of attention. He had run up the shoulder of Lead Guy and was chittering in his ear. Lead Guy didn’t appear the least flabbergasted to have a “wild” animal attach itself to him. It was then I noticed my surroundings. Wild life of all sorts seemed to be coming out of their dens and tagging along behind the foursome. Foxes, possums, squirrels, birds, and fauna I couldn’t identify. Eerie. “Hey, I’m sorry for the intrusion, if you’ll just let me have Rocky back we’ll be getting along.” “You’re not intruding, in fact your welcome to join us, I’m Joshua, and these are my friends Pete, John and his brother James. We are taking a little break from the world but we would enjoy your company.” “That’s kind of you but I’m looking for a little peace and alone time myself so I’ll just be getting out of your way,” I said reaching for Rocky who definitely preferred his present position on Lead Guy. He didn’t come to me cooperatively as he strenuously clung to Lead Guy. How embarrassing that I was second choice all of a sudden. It also took a few minutes of coaxing Scruffy to follow me before we headed back to my imaginary pathway and up the mountain once again, passing nature’s mysteriously gathering petting zoo along the way. I even saw a cougar crawling up in a submissive posture, I circumnavigated cautiously away from him/her. What was with these guys that animals clustered around them?
Once we got past the growing crowd of wildlife we made tremendous progress on our trek, with Rocky in the lead as he was able to jump from tree to tree, until a huge bird plunged down and snatched Rocky and took to the wild blue yonder with a squealing Rocky in its talons. OMG! We’ve lost Rocky! This is horrible. This is a lost cause, he’s dinner now. Scruffy became hysterical….and he wasn’t the only one. I ran in the direction the bird had vanished to not knowing how I could possibly rescue Rocky this time. Looking up for the bird’s nest as I ran, I was bumping into trees, tripping over vines and roots, being scratched and bruised with my hair getting tangled in the low hanging branches. Scruffy had jetted off in the opposite direction howling loudly. Now I was sure I had lost both of my pets and myself; we would never find each other again or the way home. All because I had an insane need to get away for a while and find God I lost my fur babies and my direction. Minutes later as I sat on a log crying, beaten and defeated, the foursome emerged from the thicket coming up behind the frontrunner, Scruffy. Scruffy had gone to them for help. Calmly Lead Guy stood still and raised his right arm, bent at the elbow then whistled. I heard rustling above and the bird glided down….with Rocky still in his talons looking wide eyed. Bird dropped the uninjured Rocky into Lead Guy’s hands and perched on a boulder at his feet. It was a huge eagle. Lead Guy gently handed Rocky over to me and had a discussion with Eagle who lowered his head and then flew away once more, empty “taloned”. What just happened? Awesome. Spectacular. Spooky. After I caught my breath, and dried my tears, I muttered some thank you’s and excused myself again from the quartet while hugging Rocky fiercely. I just wanted to get safely to the mountain top, find God and go home. Before continuing I made use of my first aid kit to treat my cuts and bruises then I continued my journey with Rocky safely tucked in my back pack, with only his head exposed so he could breathe. I promised myself I would never bring pets with me on any another expedition. I reached the summit shortly before midday and found a soft comfortable place in the shade out of the afternoon heat to lay out a blanket and unpack lunch; sandwiches, chips for me, nuts and canned dog food for my little buddies. I sat there with my two furry companions and reflected on the seclusion and admired the breathtaking scenery, the greenness of the world around me, and the crisp fresh air, surely God was up here. I pulled out my bottle of wine and some crackers and partook of a private communion with a reading from my bible and waited to hear from God. And waited. And waited. Then I saw them again. The foursome, with their increasing following of creatures. It sure was getting crowded up here, would I ever be able to get away from civilization? They were on the mountain top over to the north of me. Oh well, they weren’t very close and couldn’t feasibly see me but darn if they weren’t interfering with my desire to be alone with God. It wasn’t long before the day’s trek and emotional shock from losing Rocky and regaining him caught up with me: I dozed off from mental and physical exhaustion and maybe, just maybe from the wine. I woke to find myself swathed in an unexpected and refreshing cool fog. Scruffy and Rocky were sitting to my left with their attention directed towards the north where the impermeable condensation was thicker.
As I watched it slowly lifted and revealed the foursome still there. No wait. There were two more men. Older men with long white beards in the same ancient looking tunics holding staffs and a primeval looking scroll talking spiritedly to Lead Guy whose three comrades were standing back looking as stunned as I was.(I was spying on them with my binoculars now). Where had these extra men come from? They didn’t look fit enough for the walk up a mountain. Suddenly Lead Guy and his clothing started to shine…glow was a better definition. Then the sound of thunder erupted from the haze and bolts of light flashed about. There were no thunderstorms reported on the weather channel, I checked before I came here so the only logical explanation I had for the glowing clothes, lights and extra men was an alien encounter. The rumbling from the fog almost sounded more like someone speaking. I was too far to make out the words but could see the three men fall to their knees and bow their heads. The guy that was called Pete got up and started making a primitive shelter for the group just before I witnessed the two older bearded men….I can’t come up with a more accurate explanation than to say that they evaporated into thin air. Were they beamed up to a mother ship hiding in the clouds? I know what I saw, er, didn’t see. Scruffy and Rocky were my witnesses. They were tranquilly transfixed watching the action across the mountain. They didn’t appear to be afraid like they usually are during thunderstorms; this kept me calm .or should I say calm-ish.
But just for extra courage I grabbed my wine bottle for one more swallow. Then passed out. I don’t know how I did it but I made it back home before it got dark. Needless to say it took me less time to descend the mountain than it did to ascend it as I was disparate to return to the safety of my home and get away from the weird unearthly things happening on this trip, not to exclude the possiblity of being beamed up somewhere else myself.
I was more than a little, no, I was very disappointed my weekend retreat was a major letdown. I had such good intentions to relax, enjoy nature and connect with God. Instead because of too much wine, overexertion and maybe too much sun I fell victim to some odd hallucinations.
Rocky and Scruffy were sitting by the car as I unloaded my gear. "I'm sorry guys that this trip was such a royal bust. I really had hopes of hooking up with God this weekend." Wait. Did Scruffy just roll his eyes at me? Yes he did, and now he and Rocky are exchanging knowing looks and shrugging their shoulders in bewilderment.
What's up with those two. What do they know that I don't? “What’s with you two?” I asked, “What do you know that I don’t know.” I hoped no one heard me questioning two fuzzy creatures.
Once again Scruffy rolled his eyes at me as he went to my backpack, buried his snout deep inside and sniffed around. A few seconds later out popped his head with my bible in his mouth which he deposited on the concrete driveway in front of me. Then as if on cue a breeze passed over the book and turned the pages to Matthew 17. To be more precise to the words I had at some point in time underlined in verse 5 “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
I do believe now I had seen visitors from outer space. I think I need more wine.