A Stone’s Throw
into the hike. My wife, who puts hiking in the fall at the top of her list of favorite things to do, reminded me how we had hiked when we were first dating. I moaned and groaned about wanting to watch football, but as the sun glistened atop the leaves I was swayed to join her.
As our hike progressed, I had to admit that the fresh fall air and unexpected warmth made the time in the woods rather enjoyable. I glanced over at some kids playing near a stream. One of them exclaimed that he had found some shells. My wife loves shells, so she jumped up and walked over to see for herself. Sure enough, the kids were right. There were shells in this southeastern Ohio stream. She grabbed one and held it up like a prize.
I began to look around for shells also, and although I saw a few, what really caught my eye was a perfectly flat stone on the ground. In an instant I recalled skipping stones as a kid. Watching a flat stone skip across the top of the water seven or eight times was like watching some sort of magic trick.
I HAD TO BE COAXED
I told my wife she could keep her shells; I had found some skipping stones. She gave me a puzzled look and asked, “What are skipping stones?” I showed my find to her and told her to watch me as I flung the stone so that it hit the water and then skipped along the surface several times.
She looked on in amazement and asked, “How do you do that?” I gave her a quick lesson. After just a few attempts, she was a pro.
For a couple of perfect minutes I stood behind my wife and wrapped my arms around her waist. I could tell she was content and proud of her new skill. I was glad I was there to share in it. We had so much fun, we hadn’t noticed the sun fading behind the trees.
As a boy I thought skipping a stone was magical.
As a middle-aged man, sharing this moment with the woman I have loved for over 20 years was beyond magical. That’s the beauty of life. The simple and unexpected moments are almost always the best ones.