Learning to be a Follower

IMG_5912 IMG_5915


Growing up as the oldest girl of three I had a natural bossy tendency. I was never good at following an other’s lead and always wanted to be out in front. If I were traveling with a group of cars I needed to be first. As I aged I realized this was not always the most attractive trait, but one I had to fight to overcome.


Today was one of those days that make me happy we live in North Carolina. While the west coast is consumed in rain and the North East is hit with yet another snowstorm, it was seventy degrees and sunny here. I woke up early for a Sunday so I attended early church. Although I really missed the choir I loved having my whole day ahead of my by nine thirty.


Russ and I decided to take Shay on a big hike at the Eno State Park. Even though we arrived before eleven the parking lot was almost full with other lovers of North Carolina winter. With Shay on her pink leash held by Russ we set off to hike up the trail that runs besides the river.


The trail is fairly narrow and a bit muddy from run off from the hills. Shay could be mistaken for a mountain goat in a brown curly coat. She can jump over fallen trees and climb steep trails with no effort. As the three of us negotiated our way up and down the hills of the park one thing became apparent, Shay had to be out in front.


Every once in a while I would try and take the lead where the path got skinny, but I could feel Shay’s breath on my ankles and she pulled against the leash to try and pass me. As soon as I stopped to let her go by me she would relax as long as we let her tell us where to go.


With the fall leaves on the ground it was not always apparent exactly where the trail was, but somehow without ever looking up to see the trail makers on trees Shay was able to keep us right on the path we should be on to stay out of danger never mistakenly ending up on top of a boulder with no place to go.


Shay was clearly a better trail leader than I ever would have been, not that I had a choice. She must have inherited her desire to be a leader from me. But being a follower was highly pleasurable. I was able to enjoy the scenery and the sunlight streaming through the naked winter tree branches.


I guess that it was easy to be a follower when I so thoroughly trusted my leader. I guess that I need to work next of being more trusting. I hope I have a lot of years left because I still have a lot to learn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s