My friend had other activities during our morning walk times and suggested we head to the high school track in the “cooler” temperatures of 80 degrees as the sun was going down. This particular day, however, she was going to be busy in the evening as well. I thought I could still get in at least three miles with the kids on the trail, so we headed out not-so-early in the morning.
The boys found webs of worms in the trees and along the hand rails. Then came the lizards and the huge grasshoppers. That was enough to cause their younger sister alarm and she clung to my hand and tried to affix herself to my side. I assured her she would be fine.
As the excitement died down and we moved at a nice pace looking at muddied waters of the San Antonio River, we came to the third switchback path and the boys screamed collectively. Eyes wide and mouths open, they came back to where their sister and I were walking.
It was my little vulture friend perched on a handrail above us. Each time I have passed it of late, it has been at a different spot in the trail all about the same stretch. The kids decided they had had enough of a walk and we turned back around. As we got to the top of the hill at the old railroad bridge, they attempted to persuade me to turn back around and continue our walk. It seems my matter-of-fact manner in describing my “run-ins” with the “little” one had them calmed and curious enough to go back and observe the bird. I assured them we would be walking later that evening and I had a day of activities like getting an oil change for my car and looking for a particular type of fertilizer for my lawn.
Ah, the excitement never ends! We were on the wooden path headed down the hill and the boys screamed again. All I saw was the rustling of some leaves, but one was convinced it was a coral snake.
My youngest son began to tell us everything he had learned about snakes this year in school. He had been given several books on them and was quite knowledgeable. He expressed gratitude that it hadn’t been a cobra. Yeah, me too.
His older brother was convinced it was not that snake and said it had white in its markings. Either way, I knew with the worms, lizards, grasshoppers, vulture and now a snake, my hike-and-bike days were over for the summer if the kids accompanied me.
Later that evening, I wondered if my track-walking days were numbered as well. I jogged the straight stretch ready for the corner walk only to be met by my youngest son. It seems my 9-year-old pushed his 8-year-old nephew who fell into the 6-year-old sister/aunt! I’d just warned them on my last lap not to be hopping and pushing because somebody would get hurt.
We left the track to ice down her swollen, purple cheekbone just below her eye. It was a good hit apparently.
In life, we are going to encounter the worms, lizards, grasshoppers, vultures and snakes - the situations or circumstances that make us stop in our tracks and change our directions. It happens to all of us.
We are going to sometimes get a little banged up, whether physically or emotionally by events in which we partake. But we all have a direction or a path that we can take. We can alter that path at any given moment.
Sometimes, we must walk the path alone. Sometimes, we have to suspend our walk for a bit until we can regroup. Sometimes, we have to change our locale to walk a path we seek.
Whatever path you may choose, don’t let the realities of life keep you from your destination. A friend taught me this, “Con Dios, se puede hacer todos.” With God, I can do all things, roughly speaking.
Scripture says it like this - “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
In Matthew 19:26a, “with God all things are possible.” And if you are not convinced yet, “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ ” (Mark 9:23)
Whatever our path, we need never walk it without the comfort of the One who created us. He often carries us.