Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Appreciating

            Last night we were sitting around the campfire with a couple of guitars, and one old fella was singing ballads from the old days. There were tens of thousands of stars visible to the naked eye, and a pale blue sliver visible over the tips of the horizon, where the sun had set a couple hours before.
            I stared into the fire and it hit me, like never before – I’ve really moved to Montana. This is my new life.
            I’ve started to really appreciate being out on this canoe trip with my dad and ten other mostly-old folks. One man came up to me and told me, with tears in his eyes, how touched he was to see the relationship I have with my dad. His dad had passed away when he was a baby. He looked me in the eye and said, “What you have is precious. I feel privileged to see it.”
            I instantly not only appreciated my dad, but I thought of my own son, two months old, and all the living we’ll get to experience together. What a blessing.
            I was talking to another woman who said, a bit choked up that it’s been a hard year. I don’t know her details, but I knew deep down that it was hard for her in ways far more difficult than raising kids. Raising kids from scratch is tough and tiring work, but at the end of the day, it’s all about experiencing new expressions of life and hope. This is far more satisfying than some of the negative trials we face, especially as we get older.
            Once again I feel privileged to be a new dad. I don’t think it was possible for me to have this perspective while I was in the middle of it, changing both kids’ diapers on the assembly line and desperately working to prevent cries from erupting. But out here in God’s country I can take the time to sit back, reflect, and be thankful.

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