I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)
I managed to do a good job of ignoring my to do list this morning. Andrea and I headed out early to Little Manatee State Park with horses in tow. I despair of ever being able to drive a truck pulling a horse trailer, but Andrea does a great job getting us where we want to go. We knew that we would encounter some flooded trails while there as the park is low with a river, lake and several creeks running through it, but were surprised when the ranger told us that they had had seven inches of rain last weekend and many of the trails were not just flooded, but impassible. Still, we decided to give it a go. We managed to find some high ground, but several times for periods as long as fifteen or twenty minutes were slogging through water up over the horses knees. They splash as they wade through so we were all wet by the time our ride was over. While we didn’t mind the water, the spider webs with HUGE spiders on them crisscrossing the trails were unnerving. It was obvious no one had been on the trails for a while as the spiders had created strong fortresses right out in the open where we had to go. With the combination of water limiting our options and spider webs blocking our paths, we had a difficult time of it. We kept getting thick strands of sticky web caught on our helmets and on our faces. My horse, Trucker, even had a web covering his face and stuck between his ears. It looked like some new fashion statement as his ears wiggled, but could not free themselves. We finally got sticks to wave in front of us to knock the webs down. One time, the spider jumped off the web and onto Trucker and I started screaming before Andrea calmed me down by shouting, “It’s gone, it’s gone.” I guess it was just as afraid as I was and launched itself back into the trees. I had not taken my camera knowing that there would be a lot of mud and water and didn’t want to take a chance on dropping it. Of course, I wished I had it because despite the poor conditions, we saw more wildlife today than usual. We saw three pairs of mother deer with their babies. One of the little fawns still had its white spots. About five wood peckers flew together across our path. I have never seen them in a group before. There were cardinals and a lot of swallow tail butterflies. The wildflowers were just on the verge of bloom. It should be beautiful in another week. The ride made me think about how often we chose not to do something or go a certain direction because it will be hard. We would rather avoid the difficult parts of life, yet those times are when we find the greatest joy and most wonder at God’s magnificence.