Saturday, September 21, 2013

Be Safe...

I planned to tell you there was snow on the high peaks this week.
But now this instead:

I left early as is my habit to exercise before breakfast.
I noticed what seemed to be scrapes through the pine needles blanketing the trail.
I examined a few but couldn't decide what had made them.
A bear?
I'd seen bear tracks in the mud earlier in the week.
I became more alert but kept climbing.
My purpose with this exercise is to raise my heart rate.
I bring it up by running and lower it again by walking.
It's a good way to strengthen the heart.

Suddenly, I heard a noise and saw movement above me on the trail.
My adrenalin rising, I realized that it was just a little boy.
I surprised him as he surprised me.
About 7 years old, dressed in a navy blue sweat shirt, he focused on the trail.
I could tell he was wary - what child doesn't know not to trust a stranger?
In a cheery (I hoped) voice, I quietly asked, "How are you this morning?"
As he passed me, eyes still averted, he answered shyly, "Fine."

It was then I noticed someone following him.
Oh - a parent, I thought. 
But no.
It was a duplicate little dark-haired boy in blue who may have been 10.
This boy was headed straight for me, pulled by an energetic Lab puppy.
I knelt and held my hands out to the puppy who wriggled a greeting.
"You have a new puppy!" I enthused.
But, I could tell this older child was also frightened of me.
I pointed the puppy's black sausage body down the trail toward the younger child.
His attention diverted, the puppy immediately began pulling big brother down the trail.
I suddenly realized that the scrapes I'd seen earlier
were from the puppy bracing as he lunged on the leash. 
I watched the three of them disappear around a curve.

Moving upward again, I expected to come upon their slowpoke parent.
Nobody appeared.
I began to worry.

What were 2 little boys and a puppy doing alone on the trail?
 It was early and too far from habitation.
Off the main trail there are many minor trails.
People are constantly getting lost on them.
My house is at the bottom of one of the minor trails.
Adults often appear in my back yard needing directions.

As I kept moving and thinking, I couldn't conceive of parents
allowing these young children to wander this far by themselves on the trail.
I wouldn't trust that my own grandchildren
who have navigated the trails with me for years
could find their way back home alone.
Children of this age have no sense of direction.

I became more and more uneasy.
I began to think of my own childhood.
I was a latchkey kid. 
I roamed in what I now realize were remote and dangerous locations.
But, I wouldn't want my grandchildren to take the same chances.
What the heck were these boys doing with a small puppy so far from supervision?

I turned around and started downward.
I visualized the children and the dog and silently implored,
"Be safe."
"Be safe."
"Be safe."

For good measure, I thought of each of my grandchildren, too.
"Be safe."

I never found the children.
I'm sure they ended up back where they started.
Perhaps there was hot cocoa.
Maybe they retold their adventure.
Would they mention a white-haired lady?

I cannot get them out of my mind.
Tonight, I'll watch the news.
I'll hope there is no mention of missing children and a lost puppy.

May the safety of children be my One Good Thing today.


  1. oh, you are a dear soul to worry and send grace to them...

  2. Barb, I too would have my doubts about the safety of the boys, I do hope all is OK. Snow, will you have some soon? Take care, Greetings from Jean.

  3. It's sweet of you to worry. I agree it does seem odd that they'd be out by themselves so early in the morning. On a different note, your morning exercise sounds awesome!

  4. Oh my. the missing back story . . . I'm glad you were their guardian exactly when you were needed.

    Oh, to a mountain home! very nice thought.

  5. In the old days, we wouldn't have given this a second thought. I was a wild child myself, and roamed about with nothing more than my trusty scruffy dog. Sad times we live in that 2 boys and a dog out for a walk in the woods would cause worry. Hope there was no news.

  6. That certainly was a strange encounter Barb. I can see why you would have been somewhat apprehensive about the boys' safety. I wonder, as you are, what set of circumstances brought them to 'your' trail?
    The boys were very fortunate to have been 'wrapped' with your silent prayer.

  7. It is a sign of the times we live in. Like georgia, that could have been me as a child though I would have had my trusty 22. However I never lived around bears. I am surprised the parents let them go unattended. Surely if they were lost they would have said something. I kept hoping there would be a definitive ending to your story. This is a case of no news is good news.

  8. I will say a little payer that those boys are safe and sound.
    I have a feeling they are.
    But I know if they were mine, I would not have let them out of my sight, strange that they would be out there unattended.

    That is a gorgeous picture!

  9. I hope they are safe too Barb. That is scary, but they probably are at home and all is well. Makes you wonder about their lives on a typical day, and what typical might be for them. May they be safe, oh that it were so for all children. thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  10. I pray for them too. I wonder if there is someone you could report the incident to, and if that would be a good thing to do?

  11. Barb, you did the best thing that you could - experience the worry, anxiety and finally - extremely important - visualize them safe and happy. As humans we go through a range of emotions, however if we can come out to the side of sharing calm and loving energy - then we are helping those in need. I felt your heart quicken, body tensing, sigh of relief and then on to the stress of maternal concern. Wonderful post and comments. Keep holding them in the light. It's difficult to be sure, but the positive thoughts ripple out. Thanks for sharing. I too will visualize them on many more safe adventures with their companion/dog meeting you once again as young adults. Life is an adventure - that's for sure.

  12. I would have been concerned, too. But it sounds like you did everything you could. I like that a woodlandrose (up above) said she'll visualize meeting them again someday.

  13. Good that you care about these boys but I still wonder where the parents are and if they realise how dangerous it can be.


  14. That would have made me nervous too - with bears and mountain lions in the area. I must admit I enjoy tromping through the woods of England with the kids, not worrying about bears & mountain lions around the bend.

  15. i would worry too hope they made it back. Glorious place for a walk...

  16. A sighting like this would worry me too Barb --

  17. Oh my gosh....if you didn't hear anything I assume they were OK, but how scary. We were waiting in line at the drugstore today when a 2 year old ran off from his mother who was talking to the pharmacist. She didn't even look around. We kept watching him and an older gentleman tried to call him back , but he was off on an adventure. Finally I just followed him up and down the aisles and I swear it was a good 10 minutes before she even came looking. That is just not right! Be safe indeed!

  18. I hope they are safe!

    Lovely scenery.

  19. I think it's natural that we worry in these circumstances - and these things can prey on your mind. I wonder where the parents were though?!

  20. I would wonder about the children too.
    Perhaps you will run into them another time.....

  21. I'm thinking the puppy may have followed its scent home. But odd to allow children of that age to go out wandering. Be safe!

  22. We must have faith and trust that they are safely back where they belong, and that your "BE SAFE" mantra hit its mark!!! A wonderful blog! Sending you good positive energy, as this universe continues its conversation with all of us! Stay tuned and be aware, for the signs are everywhere for the seeker of truth from within!!! Aloha.

  23. Oh I can see why you where worried, I would have been also.. I am sure you would have heard if they weren't..


  24. Oh my goodness- that is so worrisome to know young children are out on a trail by themselves.. I'll bet they are ok.

  25. It is always worrying to find yourself in this situation of not being sure if you should take responsibility for a child. I suspect maybe the parents were ahead of the kids somewhere, on a path that joined it, and the dog could sniff the scent trail. I think there would have been some kind of a news story if they hadn't been OK.
    Still, though, I would have been concerned too.

  26. These scenarios almost always have a fine ending but we who have raised our babies continue to worry about those we encounter. It's good that we do because we can cue into when there is a real problem and help. It's bad that we do because we make ourselves nuts worrying over them. All in all, it's more of a good thing. Thank you for worrying about these boys. They're fine or you'd know by now. You can let it go. Hugs to you.


Your comments are always one good thing for me!