The Lord is Close (Part 3)
The minute she stepped under the protection of the leafy canopy, the air was cooler and smelled of moist earth and greenery. She could hear the birds chirping softly and the rustle of the underbrush as some small animal scuttered away. Her eyes widened as she adjusted to the dimmer light and she looked all around her catching every sight and every sound.
She was only slightly familiar with the path as she had walked it before a few times with her father when they were checking the traps he had set in hopes of catching some small animal to make sausage out of. A shiver ran across her spine at the thought of what she might have consumed. But somehow it looked different now all by herself; more wild, more dangerous as the trees leaned in and weeds grew across the path. She followed it down to the creek. It was almost dry, with just a trickle left from the spring rains. When summer arrived, it would be completely dry. There was an old tree that someone had long ago laid across the creek as a convenient means of passage. She held her hands out and balanced herself and walked across it as if she were a professional actress in a circus. As soon as her foot touched the other side, she heard a sound behind her. It was a low growl and a little bit of rustling in the weeds.
Immediately she swung around but there was nothing there. She peered into the bushes and looked up the trees. She thought perhaps she imagined it, yet she turned and hurried down the path a little faster.
As she neared the edge of the forest, she could see another field. She had never been this far before. A string of barbed wire stood in her way. The lowest strand was pretty high and so she decided to scoot under while carefully lifting the wire between the barbs as much as she could.
Just as she almost made it safely under the fence, she heard that sound again. The sound was just a low rumble like distant thunder but everything about it made her feel in danger. She quickly pulled the rest of her body under the fence and caught a bit of the dirty white cotton from her shirt on the edge of the wire. It tore just a little as it scratched across her skin. She rubbed the bit of blood onto her fingers and then onto her jean shorts and continued walking.
She squinted at the bright sunlight and kicked the powdery dirt a little as she stepped to try to feel the coolness under the top layer. She suddenly stopped and ignored the burning sensation in her feet for the moment as she gazed upon the most wonderful thing.
To be continued…