It’s interesting for the recent celebration of Father’s Day and all that dads do to make the world go round, the day in nature following this special day was all about mamas. We spend the morning on the lower lake watching the kids paddle board and joke around in the cold waters. The wind picks up occasionally and a few tumble in beneath the surface, coming up breathless from the frigid surprise. The sun warms us all up and birds continue to soar above. After lunch, we hike all through the aspen groves searching for elk sheds but instead come home with a beautiful piece of quartz. It’s a perfect Monday.
Our hopes were met later in the day when we came across baby coyotes and a mama nearby. In a scene feeling a bit like Out of Africa, we watch and study the grassland for movements. It’s remarkable how the young creatures have been coached to stay below the surface in their den while the mama goes out hunting. If only coaching kids to stay put could be so easy.
We head out to a patch of land to watch the sunset and take our group pictures, absorbing in the fun we’ve had all being together. A nearby woodpecker is dodging into the small hole of an aspen as a chorus of chirps crank up as she enters, feeding her babies.
Just as we rise from the picnic tables to circle up the boys for a photo, the quick hush from my brother in law signals the scene behind. A mother moose and her baby are running just behind us in a mad sprint. She’s thrashing and stomping and although we don’t know what has her so upset, it’s a sight to see. She seems to be in full protection mode. After sprinting into the lake, her baby doesn’t follow so she hurries her baby across the dry field and they tuck into the woods just behind us. It’s clear she’s using us as a buffer from the other mama coyote and her pups. Later in the evening, the kids will see two more coyotes so we feel certain the mama was scared for their safety.
It’s nature’s way. The need to teach our young, to protect our young. Our instincts for survival are strong. We do whatever it takes to keep harm from happening even under clear blue skies.
The most striking is the position in which we each find ourselves. Three types of mamas out in the fields protecting their people. Parker was convinced we were in harms way. Despite my reassurance, he felt we were putting too much at risk by standing and taking in the views. I’m sure the other babies were watching their mamas for cues to understand their safety.
Nothing I can say any of my children can really be for certain. I’d like to say you will not get hurt under my watch, but I know that’s not something I can promise. All I know to do is to show up and be there. . .to promise I will do my absolute best to protect them. Whether I have to act crazy mad or stow myself away for a little while, I’m always thinking of their safety.
As I head to bed at the end of the epic day and think about being a mama, it does take me back to the Father of all Fathers who is our ultimate protector. The skies are my reminder that our God is always watching and looking for ways to provide and protect us.