As a youngster attending school for the first time, I was probably taken by one of my older sisters. I was the oldest of the ‘last litter’. My family was a mixture and we three (Pat, Elaine and Fernne) were the last three.
The trip to school was a good mile or more. I can’t recall being led there but obviously I felt very safe…kids were so safe in those days…and then it was time for me to do the trip by myself, and away I went without a care in the world. School was a fascinating place…with BOOKS!
But what I remember most is the walk down those small town streets, through the morning fog. You could maybe see two houses ahead but that was it. The fruit trees that lined the streets hung over your head…often dotted with blossoms in the spring. You felt you were in a kind of fairy land. And then finally you could see the school…there it was with its slide and long, long steps up to the main floor…the basement housed the heating system and the bathrooms. But there was no going inside, at least not until the teacher or a privileged student rang the bell at the top of the stairs. Then you lined up in classes and proceeded in. It worked like a charm with only a few of those always bad boys shoving and pushing.
There was fog here this morning and for a few hours I was back in the Fraser Valley, reliving my walk to school. No one was driven to school in those days as no one had cars except some of the teachers and the down town businessmen. (The country kids were brought in by bus)…and yes there were hills going up; after all my home town was built on a hill, so once you took those first few steps as a toddler, you walked everywhere…mostly uphill.
But at the end of your walk you knew exactly where you should be and that was at the school.
I have found a similar system has worked quite well in my life. Yes, those first few steps as a ‘toddler Christian’ were difficult, but I had siblings and then friends and ardent Sunday school teachers to help me learn the way, and yes there were real foggy patches but I’d struggled on that street before and I knew my destination. I had God by my side, during the driving rain storms of life, during foggy mornings and during dark nights (after a basketball tournament) and then as an adult, after my husband died.
I have long passed the ‘toddler’ stage and although I have sometimes failed, God has never failed or forsaken me…even on those foggy days we all have, He is there letting us know our destination is near and He is by our side.