Dear Winnie, a Trip to Clark’s Elioak Farm


Dear Winnie,


Gray clouds spread their thick bodies across the sky. Mr. Sun was nowhere in sight. The air was cool and refreshing. One. Two. Three. Slowly you made your way up the old wooden stairs. A smile spread across your face in anticipation of what was waiting for you at the top. My heart was loud in my chest. My palms, clammy. Your beautiful, perfect eyes peered down at me from the top of the wooden structure. You make it to the top! Aunt Bell Bell had followed you, and she now scooped you up. You raised your little eyebrows as she helped you sit at the top of the slide. Those eyebrows almost said, “I can do this myself.” How have the months moved so quickly to turn our newborn into a toddler? Your sweet, small voice called down to me: “Hand!” I smiled in reply. Unlike when you’re sitting on the slide at our local park, I couldn’t reach your hand up there. All I could do was sit at the foot of the slide and invite you down. We all held our breath.


Down you went. Finally! The thrill was visible in your bright, gray eyes. “More! More!” You shouted as you wiggled loose from my hug and ran right back to the stairs. Luckily the clouds chased away not only Mr. Sun, but the crowds as well. On a typical day we’d be sharing this slide with a group of children. Not today. You were able to run up and slide down over and over and over again! My heart is still recovering from the panic I felt seeing you so very high above me. Before experiencing this giant slide, you were very obsessed with a swan slide that sat about 2 feet off the ground. Daddy, Aunt Bell Bell, and I laughed as you moved down it slower than molasses. There was also a rainbow slide that kept your attention long enough for one ride down. When we weren’t taking turns catching you at the bottom of slides, we rode the train, checked out the windmill (the big fan, according to you), wandered around the Enchanted Forest, and enjoyed watching you discover all of the animals on the farm. As a curious goat wandered over to you, you greeted him with a “hi!” and a wave, and I knew that it wasn’t possible for you to be any cuter than you already are. You’re perfect.


Winnie, watching you discover the world has been a great joy. I often forget about the wonder of things. My practical, grown-up brain takes me to anxious places, but when I take a step back and watch you, I see things differently. “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Anxiety and worry have not taken hold of your young heart. You do not fear that the worst is always about to happen. For goodness’ sake, your favorite animal right now is the bee! You have no idea that they can sting and hurt you. You simply love to watch them fly from flower to flower. I love observing and learning from you, child. I pray the Lord will give me the humility to be always willing to learn from you.


All my love,