Just thinking about life and raising children.  I think of the hike I was on this weekend.  I would come off a ridge line into the head of a hollow.  A little stream would form. The hillsides would be tall and steep. The valley would be very narrow.  The stream would flow straight down the center.  Then the valley would widen some but the hillside would be tall and steep. The stream would go side to side being guided by the hillside.  Over time the valley would be even more wider and the stream would flow more freely but would be turned if it runs into the hillside.  The hills are not so steep and are easier to climb and are not so high.  But the the valley would narrow and force the stream down a straight way or the stream may hit a rock face and have to make a 90 degree turn. There are several falls and troubled waters in this part of the run. The stream runs over rocks and runs fast at times.Then the bottomland becomes larger and the stream has grown from what it has gathered on its journey.  It travels it’s on path between the rolling hills before it leaves the mountains and hills to open land where there are no hills to hold it on course.  But it continues on its path, larger and stronger.  Growing  as it goes. Fast and troubled waters now run slow, slightly and deep. Water that you can swim in. If I have done anything,  I hope it was to be a good father to my children to guide them on their journey.  To give them freedom to run their race.  To show them the way to go as I was. It takes two hillsides to guide a stream and I have had a good hillside to help me. Sometimes one turn the stream sometimes it was the other and sometimes it took both to guide the stream where it needed to go. Always working together.  I love my little family of hills, valleys and streams.

As I looked back on this several years after I first wrote it, a lot of thing have changed in our mountain range. Like those streams, time and life keeps on flowing.  Not knowing what lies around the next bend in the river. Hilltops that were once close move apart as the ridges run their course.  Fire sweeps over them, leaving the land barren and raw. Winter comes. the rocky hills are cold and the wind blows hard. A blanket of snow is the only joy in such a dreadful place.  Through the course of time, the sun returnes. Spring blooms anew.