Saturday the rain stopped, the sun shone bright as we made our annual trek up the Cascade foothills to just below the last evening’s snow fall. Our little band of hunters all marching single file into the woods, beneath their puffy down filled coats. Rather like a string of colored marshmallows with little busy legs, winding through the snow dusted trees.
Feeling much like Peter of “Peter and the Wolf” fame, I lead my column proudly, giving instruction as we went,”OK everyone, we need to find a tree no taller than this.” As I demensrated standing tall with my thumb touching the top of my head and fingers spread far apart skyward.
As a man who takes great pains in planning for success, we were in the middle of a tree farm of thousands of appropriately sized trees. Douglas Firs, Grand Firs, Noble Firs, Blue Spruce our only challenge being to find “our tree.” Well that and not lose any of our little mashmellow troopers along the way, mainly 3 N a haffft year old Milo.
Milo seemed to be in his own little world. A world of ice topped puddles, special rocks and “didn’t you have two gloves when we started?” I had no hope that he would hear anything I was trying say or instruct. Just everone keep an eye on Milo.
Everyone, however, was consumed by running around, up and down the neatly groomed rows of 6 and 8 foot tall trees, much like the Halloween maze of just weeks ago. Thousands of trees, but where’s our’s, maybe just over the next hill? No luck! Buy the way, has anyone seen Milo?
Lucy 7, the oldest member of our band, “Oh….here’s Milo’s last remaining glove. Maybe….Maybe the WOLF got him?” “All right, everybody close ranks,” said I in my best everything is under control voice. Now thinking that the tree’s at the gorcery store parking lot are looking pretty good.
Not long and we heard Milo’s voice coming from somewhere deeper into the forest. ” I found it !” he called. I called back. “Are you lost?” “No, are you guys? Come this way.” came his reply.”Where are you Milo?” “Over here buy our tree”
Running, I catch a glimpse of Milo, standing tall and proud, with his thumb atop his head fingers spread skyward, no longer bound by any glove. “Look, I found our tree.” he reports standing next to a tree all of three feet tall with just a few straggly branchs.
Now did I spend my Saturday and a trip to the foothills of the Cascades to find the only miserable little 3 foot tree on a hillside of thousands of 6 and 8 foot well groomed trees?
No, success is a fickle lady, not easy to seduced. Somethimes, success comes as a lesson learned. A truth. That as parents, teachers, coaches and leaders we scatter our seeds of intsruction, hope and love not always knowing where the fertile ground is to be found.
And sometimes the fertile ground is the Milo in our life’s band of marshmallows.
Sow often, sow widely with an open hand my friend.