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The Walking Stick

It was Christmas and we were spending it with my wife’s relatives in Pahiatua. The noon meal was followed by an afternoon activity – a walk to a hidden waterfall on the farm property.
Knowing that it is far more efficient to walk with a stick I looked for a suitable one to serve me (a walking stick instantly increases your walking ability by at least 50%, probably more. It is the use of a stick that allowed the Victorians to walk such long distances as a matter of course).  Shortly I found a stick that was just right so I picked it up and set off with it. I got a bit of gentle ribbing from the family but I persevered. As the track got rougher it came in handy, giving me a third leg, so to speak, for stability. Then the track disappeared and, as we ascended a small river bed, the going got harder with every step.

We came to a place that was impassable, forcing us to detour up and over the bank. With the stick I dug a small hole in the bank, jammed the stick into it and allowed the ladies and older members to use it as a step up. This was repeated on numerous occasions until we reached the waterfall where we rested, talked and played. On the return journey I used the stick extensively as a brake and tripod to slow and steady my descent.

When the walk was over and the cars were in sight I casually dropped the stick on the ground, whereupon it snapped clean in half!
I stopped instantly, staring at the broken parts – it was rotten in the middle!  Yet it had stood a pounding and pummeling that should have broken it from the start.

If it had snapped any time during the trip it could have resulted in a serious fall onto sharp rocks. But it didn’t happen that way. And the reason is because the law of providence protected us all, putting a metaphysical strength into the stick that overcame its physical weakness.