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