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where the trail crosses the creek

I paused where the trail dips down the ridge and hops across a narrow stream, eager to make its way to the river. Boulders hunch high and hug that pocket of the trail, making for a spot that resonates with the contemplative urge within me. So I paused for a beat.

I sat on some moss that was sitting on a rock. Maya splashed in the creek, coughing from her over exuberant gulps of water and life and doggy joy. Dillard stood near me at a slant on a slab of stone and chewed sticks with the devotion of one doing his important work in the world.

While I sat I looked around and I watched Fall fall. Yellow leaves flitted, neither hurried by gravity nor resistant to it, from bough to earth with patience.

There is an extent to which I have not been practicing what I preach. I have not paused much of late. I preach renewal. But the practicing of it is difficult to sustain. It requires the same sort of patience as the yellow leaves. The same sort of devotion as Dillard. The same exuberance and abandon as Maya.

Sometimes my spirit itches for the way things aren’t and I force myself to conjure solutions from a deficit of energy. Renewal requires a surrender to complication, and a complicated commitment to hope. A letting go and a holding fast.

It’s helpful that the seasons change even when I’m not keeping pace, not feeling ready, stuck with my head down plodding along in the heedless rhythms of my own world of private importance. It’s helpful to be shocked by a flash of color that gets me to pause, look up, and see that there are happenings and importances other than my own.

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