We live in the woods.
At the end of a two lane gravel road. Close enough to a Walmart and city folk to be comfortable, but just off the beaten path enough to have peace and quiet…most of the time.
This is great for my wife and me. We love it down there. Private, secluded. The only people who come onto our property are there for a reason. You don’t just “happen by” our house. In 12 years, we have had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses and zero Mormons. And zero protestant churches. (Perhaps a post for another day.)
My Children though…they aren’t keen on it. Yet.
I imagine as they grow up, they will enjoy the woods and the privacy and the other amenities we enjoy.
Right now, my 6 yr. old son, BB, says we live in the “Spooky Forest.” And if that sounds like I am saying it to be coy, BB says it in utter terror.
My kids are scared! To be at our house!! Crazy. I assume they will grow out of it. If not, we will figure out a way to pay for their counseling later.
There are 2 issues with living where we do, though, even for us adults. The first one may make some of you stop reading immediately. If so, feel free to scan down the page and find the number 2 and begin reading there.
1. GIANT COCKROACHES. Yup. You can spray, powder, spray, trap, fumigate, and spray some more, but there will always be roaches around and often, in our home. How do I know? THE ORKIN MAN TOLD ME SO! He came out to spray the house one time and pretty much said we were throwing our money away. He can spray every six months, put out the powder stuff around the house, but he said due to our location, there is no way to get rid of them.
Now, it is not quite like “Joe’s Apartment” but it would cause most people great pause. We just do the best we can.
Also, there is nothing cuter than seeing my 3 year old, Peach, pick up a shoe and chase a bug around trying to kill it. Maybe a picture of Dalmatian Puppies in a Red Wagon, but other than that, NOTHING cuter than watching my daughter hunt down and splatter a bug the size of her foot.
2. TAKING THE TRASH TO BE PICKED UP. Our road is approximately 250 yards long. About 6 months ago, the city put a nice notice on our door saying they would no longer pick the receptacle up at the edge of our property. They would pick it up where the gravel road starts. Perhaps they are afraid of the Spooky Woods…or they have heard about our Roaches! So, I have turned these long walks into an event for myself and the kids. We try to do this during daylight hours. We call it “Going to the Trash Can Party” because the first time we went, 3 other families were there at the same time. BB and Peach actually love the walk and kicking rocks, throwing sticks, etc. I do not because I am lugging around a huge receptacle.
Well, last week, I didn’t make it. I was going to just wait til the next pickup day, but Noooooooo. My lovely wife decided to clean out the refrigerator that day. And that leftover meatloaf that I forgot about and the Sour Cream that was 1 (ok, 3) months out of date could not wait. So, I decided to grab the giant flashlight, you know the one they say not to point into the sky because it might blind a pilot or something, and head out to the Party. Even at night, my kids wanted to go with me.
Our property has a light on it, so it wasn’t that dark when we started out…but once we got off the property and onto the gravel road, it was one of those darknesses you could feel. Nothing lighting the way. I turned on the light and shined it about 10 feet in front of me so it had a pretty big halo of ground cover. Had to do this to watch for snakes.
Ok, there is a 3rd reason our house is not prime…SNAKES!
BB was kind of skipping on up ahead, just in front of the light, stopping occasionally to pick up a random rock and throw it. He was having a blast.
Peach on the other hand was staying very close to Daddy. When she would stop to pick up something and become distracted, and I kept walking forward, she would SPRINT back to get in the light. She was NOT comfortable being outside the security that light provided. It was comical. A couple of times, I turned the light off. She screamed “Daddy! Turn the Light On. I’m Scared!” If I moved the light to the left, without consciously knowing it, she would wander left. No way she was going to be in the dark in those spooky woods.
I started humming “In the Light” by DC Talk, and when I got home from our adventure, I really started thinking about that song and Peach.
I wonder what my reaction to being out of the light looks like. Spiritually, I mean. I John speaks about walking in the Light. What do I do when I am not in the Light? What do I do when I become distracted?
Unfortunately, I am afraid I don’t SPRINT back to it like Peach.
I imagine I don’t subconsciously go wherever that Light leads. In fact, I know I don’t. Many times, I try to stay on the edge of the Light, close enough to get some of the effect, but largely in the dark. Sad, but true.
And what about Peaches’ fear? Of course, I chuckled and thought it irrational and childish, but aren’t we called to be CHILD-LIKE?
If I am ever out of the Light and walking in darkness, shouldn’t the correct response be fear? I think maybe so. If I notice I am away from the Light and not walking in it or can’t see it at all…
I need to be scared.
I better follow it.
I must SPRINT HARD to get back into it.
I need it.
Lots of stuff outside the Light that is not good for me. Stuff way worse than snakes…or even cockroaches.