Sledding Tradition

As we dug our heels  into the snow and inched closer to the edge, my breath caught.    I wrapped my arms tight around my three year old tight and leaned back into my husband.  Our long plastic “flying carpet” gouged forward fast and then slid sideways and then backwards before coming to a deep belly laughing end at the bottom of Coast Guard hill.  We fit easily into the skin of children again, pursuing joy for joy’s sake.


We shook off the snow and unwound our limbs, grabbed the sled’s cord and climbed the hill, Xavier riding a daddy-tow lift back up.   As we crested the hill, we could hear the waves and glimpse an orange band of sunset over the Lake’s horizon.  Then turn around, face the hill and the river stretched in front of us with ice flows and the lights dotting the snowy sidewalk with puddles of gold.



And again, delight and terror and delight again.  The two older children dropped and raced and waved and then ran over with commentary.  “Did you see us fly?  We hit a bump and had lift off!  Did you see?”


Moms and dads and toddlers and teenagers and one downward racing dog were all laughing and sides aching in saucers and luge sleds and bouncing down the hills on blown up tubes.


We changed partners and Caedmon and I pulled the blue sled up the hill next to the VFW, the snow still fresh, unpacked.  The climb was steep and we kept sliding down the loose powdery snow until we found a set of ascending footprints.


The footprints were stong, iced over in some places.  Many had come this way and offered their footprint journey of ascent to pave the way for followers.


Today I am thankful for all the footprints I have stepped in:

  1. Thankful for my mom who breathes good news, can’t stop the overflow.
  2. For my dad who has pursued wisdom with passion and loves with a scalpel in hand,
  3. For my Assemblies of God preacher grandfather who pointed towards the gifts of the Holy Spirit and prayed for every one of his 7 children, grandchildren, and greats
  4. I’m thankful for Brother Lawrence, St. John of the cross, Julian of Norwich, Anthony of Egypt, Alexander Schmemann, Bonhoeffer.
  5. For the Apostle Paul who kept writing, encouraging, admonishing while in chains.
  6. I’m thankful for Ann Voskamp and her teaching me to go ahead and count these thanksgivings
  7. I’m thankful for the thousands of years of tradition and discernment and that I have the gift of the Word in my hot little hands
  8. I’m thankful for bishops and their wives who sit and listen and offer wisdom from years of experience
  9. I’m thankful for the gift of words because (and thank you Flannery O’Connor) how would I know what I think if I didn’t see it in black and white?
  10. I’m thankful for poets and the metaphor filled prose writers who make my mouth water with their well-turned phrases.


Caedmon and I arrived at the top, pointed the sled down a previous run, and enjoyed that previous sledder’s luge, ran into the hay bale at the bottom, shook off the snow ready for hot chocolate.

What wisdom filled person are you thankful for today, friend?

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