I was 9 years old; Not old enough to hunt (legally). One evening, my Dad and I saddled up two horses and with guns in hand headed out to hunt deer. My Dad (as described by Uncle George) could “always find game but wasn’t a good enough shot to bring any home”.
We rode a few miles up a mountain side and reached the edge of a canyon. As we crested the top, a herd of deer emerged at the bottom and began to move up the opposite side. My Dad motioned for me to dismount and I took aim at the biggest buck deer. I began firing and several volleys later succeeded in bringing the buck down. It was in fact the biggest deer I ever shot and may have actually been a “record”.
We “field dressed” the deer and strapped it to the horse I was on. I rode, quite literally with the deer wrapped around me. It was getting dark by the time we headed home and there was no moon. What follows is one of many surreal experiences I’ve had in my life and will bring some degree of relevance to everything I’ve written and what comes later in my musing.
It was as they say “pitch black”. The peaks of a distant mountain range witnessed only by a vague outline. Stars so magnificently clear did not give any hint of our location (Only theirs). My Dad (going ahead) instructed me to let my reigns go slack. I was reluctant to do so because that was relinquishing all control of the situation… I did so. The horses could “see” what I could not and they also knew the way home. I did not know how far home was nor did I have any sense of moving closer to home or even the direction I was going. Only the gentle bobbing of my horse gave me a sense of “traveling”. Time and space lost all relevance. On reflection, I would say the “journey” took an hour maybe two. I finally glimpsed a pinpoint of light… the glow of a light through our kitchen window. And then we were home.
Trusting God and “letting go” is always hard, especially when we feel darkness pressing in. If we can fix our eyes on the light that cannot be extinguished we will in our Journey find our way home.