From the Redmond Watershed Access

I’m writing to you this morning from one of the most beautiful spots in our area, the Redmond Watershed Access area! For two years now, Cyndy and I have wanted to explore this little area but have somehow been stymied. The first time we entered the area we had our dog, Sugar. As we hopped out of the car a hiker near by informed us that dogs weren’t allowed. The second time we were about to get out of the car when Cyndy and I both read the sign about bears. Cyndy quickly went on the internet and learned that a bear bell or horn might be an important “get” before we head out. I think the bear thing kind of scared us because we haven’t been back since!

But last Sunday we were driving around and there it was…The Redmond Watershed Access area sign. Cyndy immediately chimed in that we had  bear horns in the back. “Well” I said, “we don’t have Sugar. You want to give it a try?”

Our first trail was the shortest one. It’s even paved! But as we walked through the dense forest we rounded a corner and heard the strangest sound we’d ever heard. “If that’s a bear,” Cyndy said, “then he’s been caught in a bear trap far to long.” “Well I don’t think it’s a cougar, either. Just then we looked out into a small pond and heard the sound again and realized it was a red footed tree frog!

Later we headed out to the “real” trails and as we walked we both commented that we felt like Christopher Robbin must have felt when he wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories. This was definitely “the woods”!

Cyndy and I have walked these woods 3 or 4 times this week and have been blessed every time. The richness of this forest, and it’s ability to block out the lights, sounds, and bustle of the city have been an incredible gift to us. As we have walked, the safety of these woods have allowed us to talk of things we have never been able to find the space or time to talk about before.

As I walk these woods this morning I pause at the wonderful wisdom of our forefathers and foremothers who believed in these type of experiences so much, they wrote them into the heart of their creation story, and into their legal system: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”.

How are you doing with your Sabbath time? To be honest with you I’ve been a horrible example to most of my people concerning Sabbath. For most of my life I have shrugged it off as suggestion and luxury. I didn’t need it and could not afford to take it. But as I walk these woods and feel my heart opening again to the wonder of something I had no part in creating, I wonder if I haven’t been missing out of one of God’s greatest stengths…rest, re-generation, re-creation…Sabbath.

Christopher Robbins was right: If you go out to the woods today you ARE in for a big surprise…you will be made new!

Your pastor, learning how to walk his way to Sunday, Brook

Tim Schaaf