Wildlife Hope

We left March 12 and returned June 14. Ninety-four days of camping in our Dodge van, through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, then back to Colorado and back home. More than nine thousand miles.

For fifteen years before Jerry’s retirement, we’d talked about this trip up the Pacific coast. Never having been north of San Francisco, it began with, “Let’s do the Pacific Northwest. We’ll take six weeks.”

It became, “Let’s do the West Coast. We’ll take three months.” An aunt in San Diego, family in Arizona, Grandboys in Colorado helped set our course.

We looked for fine craft galleries, seafood, wildlife, and crashing waves. We found an abundance of seafood, galleries and waves. But wildlife? Disappointing.

At California’s Point Reyes, we walked a mile to an area where we’d been assured we would find herons and pelicans. Nothing. The walk along the tidal flats, within sound of the sea, scented by lupine, was lovely but no birds.

Our other forays into wildlife viewing areas were equally fruitless. Except the Elk crossing sign.

“There won’t be any elk.” I shook my head.

“Sure has been disappointing, hasn’t it?” Jerry threw an understanding smile my way.

“Yup. I’m done with looking for birds and animals. Let’s concentrate on art and food.”

Then, just beyond some pines, elk. Half dozen, grazing twenty feet away. Like the sign said. I wasn’t fast enough to shoot a good photo, but the memory remains.

Sometimes, after much disappointment, we get what we hope for. For miles, the signs can make unfulfilled promises, but that doesn’t mean the next sign is wrong. Sometimes hope is realized.

I’m counting on realized hope with God.  A dearth of wildlife is a small disappointment. But we are all disappointed with life, aren’t we? In the end, though, our hope in God will be fulfilled.

Jesus, thanks for being a sure hope.