Have You Ever Felt so Thankful You Could Burst?
Finding joy in the simple things
I just returned home from a snowshoe adventure around the backwoods in my neighborhood.
After 30 minutes of hiking, I made it to the summit of the hill. I stopped and looked around over the pine forest below, with the lake beyond that.
My heart was beating fast — not only because I just made it to the top of a steep hill but because I felt so grateful and overjoyed with the experience.
I thanked God for the gorgeous view.
I thanked Him for the strength of my muscles to get to the place to take in the gorgeous view.
I thanked Him for the neighbor who gave me permission to snowshoe on his property.
I was thrilled to have this permission.
You see, there was a dispute going on in the neighborhood about the use of the land. A fence was put up. An ominous “no trespassing” sign was posted. Trails were put in for private use only.
The woods that I had been tromping through for 3 years were now off-limits to me. I lamented the loss of the use of these beautiful woods — only steps from my own home.
I had hiked in them in all 4 seasons. I had taken prayer walks, walks of silence, walks with friends, walks with my granddaughter on my back.
I had seen deer, wild turkeys, hawks, an owl, and a fox.
I felt devastated when the only way to use these trails would be now to purposely trespass on someone else’s land.
But then I learned who owned the land. I learned that I knew the owner. I texted the owner to ask for permission. I received permission to use the lands.
Elated I now had permission to hike, bike, walk, and snowshoe through the woods. Oh, joy of joys.
And on top of that, there is now wide trails carved out for the 4-wheelers and snowmobilers that make it that much easier for me to explore the full length and breadth of the woods. They wind back and forth throughout. They go into areas that I could not go before because of the thick brush.
When I reached the top of the hill my heart fell full.
I felt so thankful I wanted to burst.
(First featured on Medium platform February 10, 2020)