Pressing on despite not being able to see the path ahead can be hard. And a little scary. It’s where I am right now in regards to writing. I’ve been in a working and waiting mode for so long I’m not sure I’ll know how to “be” whenever God opens a door and one of my novels slips through.

No doubt I’ll learn. Just as He is presently, constantly, showing me how to wait, and to trust in His good plans (and that there is, in fact, a path I’m following), I’m sure He will show me how to stride forward through any doors that eventually open.

As it happens, I’m working on a chapter in which two of my characters must embark on a dangerous mountain crossing in the dead of night. They have the stars and moon to guide them, the sure-footedness of the horse one of them rides, the keen eyes and wilderness skill of the one who leads the horse.

I have the light of the promises from God’s word to guide me, and the One who leads me has the keenest eyes, the surest step. I can trust Him as my guide.

A few brief excerpts from a high mountain path, the scene-in-progress:

He caught her falling from the saddle twice more before the night wore to gray and the stars faded, and the trail ahead grew clear enough to pick out without all his senses focused on every stone and root and knife-edged drop. It was grown chill. A mist had crept up from the creek hollows below, nipping at their heels though they were yet above it. They were deep in the mountains now, and high, with rank upon rank of red oak and sugar maple, buckeye, black cherry, and ash crowding close, here and there darker pockets of spruce and pine and fragrant fir.

He’d chosen their route well. They hadn’t been seen once—by human eyes at least—but he was thinking that with dawn creeping westward it was time to leave it and take themselves off in an unexpected direction.

Just ahead the trail crested. If memory served it dipped into a saddle meadow where a creek flowed, and along that creek was another path, overgrown but passable. He’d make for that, hold to the creek, find the girl a place to lay her head for a bit.

He glanced back at her, perched on the horse.

The hood of her cloak had slipped back. Her head bobbed on her neck, lolling toward her chest. He reckoned they could be tracked by the hairpins she’d been losing all night, if anyone knew to look for such things. Her hair was in snarls, curling up around her face with the dampness of the morning, and the little lace cap hung askew over one ear. In the growing gray of dawn the shadows beneath her eyes looked dark as bruises, her face strained by fatigue and the horrors she’d endured.

She was still so beautiful Jesse had to remind himself to breathe…..

“Morning,” he said, and gave her a weary smile.

“Uhn,” she said. She rubbed her eyes, but didn’t take her hands away, as if the sight of him and the horse and the world were too much misery to bear. He wanted to give her something to hold against the memories that were surely pressing in on her. All he had to give right then lay behind them.

He nodded toward their back trail. “Look.”

Wordless, patently uncaring, she looked, and he thought he heard her breath catch.

They weren’t high enough yet and too hemmed by trees for the grandest views, but through a gap could be seen the distant face of a sheer rock cliff, banded in drifting mist. Forest lapped like a thick green wave rising from the mist to crash against the wall of stone. Above it in the clear-washed air an eagle circled, its white head catching the gold of sunrise, though the forest canopy held them still in half-light…..

The horse beside him shifted. He looked up to find she’d put her back to the view and was gazing up the path, face frozen, eyes wary as a startled deer’s.

The same alarm jolted down Jesse’s spine when he followed her gaze. At the crest of the trail a man clad in buckskins stood at the head of a halted string of pack mules, regarding them.

Copyright 2011 by Lori Benton. All Rights Reserved.
Blue Ridge Mountains photo by Jurgen Nagel, used under creative commons license, Wikipedia Commons

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