As a child, the forest was my place for play. My brother and I trekked all over Esperanza inlet with freshly whittled clubs to bush whack new trails. I knew that bears and cougars could be lurking nearby but I wasn’t afraid.
I loved the soft green moss, the trickling creek, the smell of dirt, the endless ferns and the glimmer of sunshine through a canopy of evergreens. I loved how tree roots made steps and footholds along the path.
I remember finding a hollow stump to hide in and feeling like the earth was giving me a hug.
As a young adult in Comox, the woods behind our house provided a sanctuary where I could shout out prayers and know that only God could hear me. I waved ferns and danced and sang and listened to the chorus of the birds.
My friends and I had long conversations on the road to Seal Bay, telling winding tales as we descended the winding path to the ocean.
I really missed my green home when I moved back to the city in 2013. I felt lost among the people and the buildings, the noise, the smell. No green, lots of grey. The wilderness was around me but I didn’t have the heart or wits to reach it. I spent hours driving down streets not wanting to go back to my bedroom, not wanting to step out of the car. Longing for the past, hiding from my future.
Then one day a Forest came to my house and had dinner with me. He had kind eyes and a big smile. When I shared my stories of living in China he uttered a knowing laugh. He got it.
After a tangled chain of events and miracles, risks and choices, prayers and promises, this Forest Li became mine to keep. He has become a canopy of life over me. A place where I can rest, play, talk and delight. I get to dance and pray loudly and bring a melody of joy to this beautiful man.
I know that pain, misunderstanding, conflicts and struggles are lurking nearby
but I am not afraid.
“God saw all that he had made and it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31