Changing Views


Rain 2

This view out my front window is one that I have been looking out over for two years. Finding this house was the final piece of an adventure that began thousands of miles to the West. And the beginning of another one that today looks wholly different than that first day looking out my window onto this scene.

My family and I had just completed a marathon drive from San Francisco to Arkansas, and after almost a month of looking for the house that would take care of our needs, found this one. We drove across the US as opposed to flying directly into Northwest Arkansas from Maui because the airline refused to allow animals to travel in the belly of the plane to any place with a temperature above 85 degrees.

Listening to the rain filling the street out past my picket fence, the memories of our trip to Arkansas flood my mind. No Ka Oi and Bob, our little dogs, barking furiously at a large cowboy statue in Las Vegas, Bob shaking so hard for hours after getting off of the plane, and the kids fighting in the back seat. The Vermillion Cliffs of Arizona, the heat of Tuba City and walking in the footprints of ancient dinosaurs. Lying in a different bed each night wondering what we would find at the end of our journey.

But what this morning’s view of my picket fence brought to mind the strongest, again, is how amazing our trips through life flow together to form the present. How each moment we live creates the scene for the one that waits behind the curtain being readied to play out.

Last night I watched a two-part series from PBS on the Dust Bowl; how the intense farming that brought prosperity and the American Dream turned on those that thought they had finally achieved that dream. All of the lessons learned from that disastrous period seem to have been forgotten–the farming practices are once again stripping the land of its grasses that hold the earth together. It seems that history is determined to repeat itself, each time with a modification that is hyped to bring about a different and better outcome.

One can imagine the intense pleasure those farmers experienced every day looking out over the wheat fields and the beautiful sunsets. The out of the ordinary wet decade produced bumper crops and the first world war created a great demand for their wheat. Children from that era, in their last decade of life, related the joys and travails of that period, speaking of how hard the resulting dust storms were on their families. Yet, they went on to lead lives filled with families and joys and defeats of their own.

Listening to the rain, the thunder driving the dogs under my desk, my prayer is that each new step I take down this path in life be directed by the wisdom of God’s plan. Whatever that may be. And I truly believe that our choices in direction are not so important as allowing our methods to be directed by that higher power. And one day maybe we will learn to stop stripping the earth, and our lives, of the grasses designed to hold it together.



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