I'm beginning to think I was a lot more intuitive when I was younger. I was much better at life in so many way....and I was waaaaay better at catching fireflies.
Tonight I took my furballs on an evening jaunt- the sunset, which I just missed, was coming to a close and we headed for the woods. First, We made a detour by the river, where the smell of honeysuckles was so tempting that I had to reach out and pick one to see if I remembered how to taste it. I don't. Four destroyed flowers later, and I still couldn't figure out how to get to the nectar. As a kid, living in my grandparents' house, I would always sneak over to the neighbor's backyard to partake of the honeysuckle there with my sister or cousins. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and the honeysuckle are that much tastier....
But tonight, nothing. I seem to have lost my skillz. The air was still so fragrant though; so I reached out to examine another flower, and felt a voice urging me to take it. So, I plucked a small bouqet and it immediately occured to me how romantic God is; He's given us not one floppy, cheap carnation (Valentine's day in middle school anyone? *shudder*), not one gas station-side bouqet of roses, but an entire world of flowers. This small little sprig of flowers for some reason was a reminder of God's strong love for not only me, but all of us.
I continued on my walk, grinning by now, until I inhaled a tiny little bug. At this point I wretched so loud that Bart nearly jumped out of his skin, but alas! Too late! Bug successfully ingested. I made a mental note to close my mouth and continued.
A little later on, we headed for the deeper woods. I walk this same trail at least twice a week in daylight, and I know each nook and fork in the path by heart, but my eyes were of no use to me in the increasing dusk. Gradually the colors all faded into darkness and the contrast evaporated. Looking up from the path after locating a rock that trips me up even when I can see it, I spotted a pair of glowing yellow eyes staring at me from across the stream.
Creepiness factor? Check.
Suddenly, eyes were everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I saw them moving in and among the trees and hills above me, crossing the path ahead of me and behind me, watching me and then blinking into darkness again. I twirled the little flower in my fingers and the fragrance was a comfort, as corny as that sounds. Besides, Jack & Bart are totally dog-wimps but I could hear their tags clinking happily along on the path ahead, so I went on. As I reached the waterfall, a place where I usually stop, the opening in the trees allowed for a little light, so my eyes got some respite from the heavy darkness as the stars came into view. Here, where I seek God and pray, is where I rest. Here is where I can see clearly again.
Humbled, I turned around and looked back into the darkness. I had a sudden realization at this point.
The multitudes of glowing eyes that I had been seeing out of the perimeter of my vision that constantly ebbed in and out of sight- they were fireflies. I gazed into the darkened forest and saw hoards of them, moving up into the hills like torches carried by invisible hands. My knees almost buckled. I climbed out of the little valley made by the waterfall, accompanied by Dumb and Dumber, and re-entered the darkness, joined this time by fellow travelers in the night, all lighting up for a few glimmering seconds and then fading back into the pitchblack of the woods. I walked back the way I came and it felt like a dream. It was incredibly overwhelming. Everywhere I turned, they were there- and each time I approached them, they extinquished their lights, effectively vanishing before my eyes. Try as I might, whenever I tried to catch them in my hands to see them, they evaded me.
God moves precisely in this way.
The closer I seem to come, the farther away I seem. And the farther away I seem, the closer I am than I realize. This curious forest full of menacing eyes was in fact full of ethereal pilgrims. I am in a place in my life where I feel so alone, so afraid, and so insignigicant and hurt sometimes. And here God comes and pushes all that pain in my heart aside to say, "You are not alone, you have no reason to be afraid, and I love you." It was so gutwrenchingly intense; all I could do was stand there in the middle of the woods and watch (I managed to remember to keep my mouth closed, so not lightning bugs were harmed).
Finally, I made my way to the edge of the woods, back into the land of streetlights and cars and suburbia and leash laws, and all I could think was "wow. what just happened?" I was, and still am, physically weakened. On my walk back home, I laughed. Bug #2 ingested. Oh well.
I still don't know exactly what God just did in my heart. So often I carry a camera to document the things I love and know. I knew I couldn't capture what I had just seen on camera, and the only way I know how to capture life and capture what God does to me is through writing. When I was younger, I wrote. I felt so close to knowing who God is. Things did not stay that way but this is how I captured life. Perhaps this is how God intended me to do so.