Bottle of Hope: a True Story

I was in the vast wilderness area southeast of Tower, Minnesota. I had left the hiking trail to try to get a picture of a grouse drumming, and became hopelessly lost. I did the one thing they tell you to never do if you get lost: I panicked.

I began loping through the woods, certain the trail was just ahead; it wasn’t. I ran around for hours, most likely in circles, until I was exhausted. Finally, I sat down on a rock, and cussed myself out. I had lost hope.

Tears came to my eyes, but then, through the shimmering tears, I caught a glimpse of something glinting in the late afternoon sun. I wiped my eyes, and made my way toward it. It was a brown beer bottle just laying on the ground, like someone had just thrown it there.

Hope came flooding back in, and I walked a spiral pattern around it. Sure enough, I found the trail not far away. I was going home, after all. But not before I went back, and grabbed my symbol of hope.

I later found out that the bottle was pre prohibition–it was over a hundred years old! Did it lay on the ground for a hundred years, just waiting to give me hope? I wondered.

Today it sits on my mantle as a symbol of hope, alongside my Rodeo Soda bottle, but that’s another story…

–photo by me

19 thoughts on “Bottle of Hope: a True Story

      1. Wow. I can’t imagine. We have venomous snakes and spiders but very few carnivorous predators here in Australia. There’s the dingo but for a dog they’re not that big. I am not sure they would take on an adult human. Actually feral dogs and cats are probably more dangerous.

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  1. I feel deep gratitude that you made your way through that fear of being lost. Life gave you that message in a bottle to find your way back I have no doubt. I have also experienced that feeling a few times in the wilderness, then quieted myself to find my inner compass bearings. I also used a dowsing pendulum once too. If I’d found a bottle, like you, I wonder if I’d have tried a ‘spin the bottle’ for divining direction. Your bottle is a wonderful reminder to never give up precious Hope. 🙏💕✨

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