Yet, He Wasn’t There…
I had a nice moment with my 11-year-old daughter a few months ago.
We were walking through an upstate New York forest, the lush kind, thick with trees, growing rapidly from late summer rains. I asked her, “Do you know where the house is?”
“That’s about right,” I said.
“I wouldn’t want to get lost in the forest,” she said.
I asked her, “Do you know what to do if you think you’re lost?” She did not. I let her think for a while. Then I told her about being in the woods once with my Dad, when I was about her age and he asked me the same question.
“He told me to stand and be super quiet. Let’s do that.”
She and I stood quietly. I asked her, “What do you hear?”
She heard the wind. A bird. A distant truck. Just barely. I asked her to point to each sound.
Most places on Earth where one is likely to be hiking, you can hear either traffic or water. Walk toward that and you have a pretty good chance. I remembered Dad, tall and strong, much younger than I am now, telling me what someone probably told him.
Then I showed her, as he taught me, how to walk in a straight line by sighting trees, and not go in circles.
He taught me, I taught her.
Months later, she still remembers.