We were sitting at the table recently talking about a hike I went on with my sister and her family to Mt. Pilchuck, many years ago. I was telling my husband and son about the boulder field where you had to find yellow paint marks on rocks to know which direction to go. And that gave me a sudden flashback.
Years ago dad and I were scouting a trail through the woods up this ridge, to figure out a route for laying pipe. The pipe was going to run water to a wheel to generate electricity.
I hadn’t lived in the woods before or done anything like this. Dad gave me a can of red spray paint and told me to paint arrows on the trees so we’d know where we’d been and could find our way back.
And off into the woods we went.
I carefully painted big arrows on each tree trunk.
Hours later we finally turned to go back down the ridge.
And dad says ‘where are the arrows?’.
They were gone. We couldn’t see any. Just woods surrounding us.
Because of course I’d painted them as we moved up hill, not thinking to paint arrows on both sides of the trees.
So we made our way home slowly. Very slowly.
Walking circles around all the trees.