The two of us stop to pick a few raspberries growing along the Tay Shore Trail. He stole away with me on my rendezvous for health. He on his bike and me on foot. His questions pepper our trek.
"How do you know that's a pheasant, Mom?, Where are her little ones?, Does she live in the forest?"
I tell him what I know and suggest we look up some information when we get back to the cottage. I enjoy this time with my eldest son. He cycles alongside my walking speed. We talk about habitats and I am thankful this trail provides the opportunity for us to observe several.
The Tay Shore Trail wraps itself around the shores of both Sturgeon and Hog's Bay, passing through field, woodland, and marsh. He asks me if I like the marsh and I say, "I do. I enjoy listening to the croaking bullfrogs."
We pause and he points out an Eastern Bluebird. We praise God for His creation and the opportunity He has given us to enjoy it. A little later he parks his bike and gestures excitedly to a green area on the other side of the gravel.
I watch this blond-haired boy now marvelling as a caterpillar chomps through a leaf on a milkweed plant. We recognize the caterpillar as one that will become a Monarch Butterfly. "He sure eats a lot, Mom. Look at him go!"
"He sure does," I agree.
He continues to watch, eyes wide in wonder. I am lost in the beauty of now. I savour this quiet time he and I share. I'm so glad he came. We need more of these times, discovering together, sharing and enjoying the moment.
I determine to claim these moments more often, to be more deliberate as the hours pass. Precious few are as dear as these.
He's far ahead on his bike now but calls back over his shoulder, "Aren't you glad they paved the trail, Mom?"
I make the 'Thumbs up' signal and he carries on.
Parenting is all about leaving a trail. In His grace, and because of it, may the trail we leave be worthy.
"But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works." Psalm 73:28 NASV