Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: North (05/05/16)
- TITLE: A Short Drive North
By Francie Snell
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It was encouraging to see the water higher than the week before. Abundant amounts of rain and mountain snow runoff had finally allowed some reprieve from the long drought. With all hopes, the river would soon be a lake again.
Clusters of wildflowers amidst velvety green grass covered much of the rolling slopes, and interesting outcroppings of sharp shale rocks and red clay dirt were scattered in various places.
God's beautiful country spreads out all around, and this lake is special to me. A 30 minute drive north from our home, it's where the Stanislaus River divides one county from the next. A string of retired gold mines lay dormant throughout the area that's now a playground for lovers of the great outdoors.
It was one morning in early spring when my husband and I were fishing with a friend in his boat. 'Under the Forty Niner Bridge' was a well known place for catching fish. And so the three of us floated along, trolling slowly with our lines at a depth of about 20 feet.
A short distance away was a small cove just off the main channel. As we slowly motored past it, an Osprey from high in the air swooped down and snatched something from the surface of its water. Furiously, the bird flapped it wings as it lifted a sizeable fish up to about five feet above the water. The bird then began its next journey.
I watched with envy as the feathered beauty swept past us with the fish securely clutched in its talons. It steadily worked its wings across the channel before it flew under the bridge and out of site. What a show off I thought, and wondered, maybe we're trolling too deep? However, we caught four that day between the three of us, and three of those were mine. I chuckled. God is so good.
I thought later about the Osprey and remembered a nest we had viewed through binoculars a few weeks before. I imagined hungry little offspring with mouths wide open, and how God was providing for them as well.
When evening came, my husband and I sat on the shore. A pinkish orange glow grew brighter on the horizon as the sun sank deeper behind the hills. It was as if a heavenly light was turned on for that special time of the day. It reminded me of God's lasting peace.
As the light slowly faded, the smooth surface of the water began to stir with lively fish feasting on the evening rise. They nibbled and they gulped tiny bugs from the surface of the lake all around us.
Honking geese flew overhead as if they were discussing some important matters between them. I wondered where they were headed. Is there anyplace better than this?
Before the light was completely gone, one last performance appeared in the sky. As if a feather had been dipped in bluish grey then gently swept across the horizon, wispy clouds adorned portions of the sky.
As we drove home that evening, we agreed the day had been a full one. Together, we mused with awe at how God knows so perfectly the desires of our hearts. This wonderland was a gift and a special place for both of us. Just a short drive north from our house to New Melones.
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