My wife and I worked together yesterday around the property, dragging branches to the burn pile, cutting, hauling and stacking wood for next years winter. It was a beautiful sunny day beneath miles of clear blue, a small corner of paradise where mountain meets the sky, gateway, to be sure, to an equally profound, but still mysterious universe. It was cool at 3,300 feet, but not really cold. A storybook crisp autumn morning, ushering in, by design it seemed, a warm lazy afternoon. My dog, Chica, was darting about, jumping over logs, running the length of them, on top of them, like a squirrel on a Conifer highway, then leaping to the ground like she were auditioning for the lead role in Adventures of the Amazing Log Dog.
In the evening, after a satisfying meal, we sipped wine, and soaked our weary bodies in the hot tub on the deck, absorbing the starlit night sky while it worked its ethereal magic like a private light show just overhead, barely beyond reach. A blanket of blinking, pulsating luminescence as far and deep as is humanly possible to even realize, beckoned our attention, and captured our imagination. We counted shooting stars until we ran out of numbers. I looked back through the window, into an otherwise dark house, to see a quaint fire crackling romantically in the wood-burning stove throwing red and amber hues around the room.
Throughout the day, and well into the night, I would stop for brief moments to reflect, to try and understand how I had landed here in such a place, how it became entrusted to me, how it has all been laid at my feet like treasure being brought before a king. I do not, did not, feel like a king, ever. Life was never easy for me. And it was never about the pursuit of pleasure, never even about the pursuit of comfort. This place, however, gives me pleasure and comfort beyond what should even rightfully be mine.
When we first found this home, I remember telling someone that I had done nothing to deserve this. I did (do), however, acknowledge that no blessing, or gift, is ever really deserved anyway. Good things are given out of love, to the deserving, and to the undeserving alike, just as how the rain continues to fall on both the just, and on the unjust.
I am thankful for this gift.
And I am humbled by its impact on my life.
The sun is rising slowly this morning, just beyond the ridge, bathing the sky in warm color once again, like the fire did last night on this side of the window.