My inspiration originally came from Ben Franklin's Autobiography in which he begins:
I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors. You may remember the inquiries I made among the remains of my relations when you were with me in England, and the journey I undertook for that purpose. Imagining it may be equally agreeable to you to know the circumstances of my life, many of which you are yet unacquainted with, and expecting the enjoyment of a week's uninterrupted leisure in my present country retirement, I sit down to write them for you.
and later an admission:
Hereby, too, I shall indulge the inclination so natural in old men, to be talking of themselves and their own past actions; and I shall indulge it without being tiresome to others, who, through respect to age, might conceive themselves obliged to give me a hearing, since this may be read or not as anyone pleases. And, lastly (I may as well confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody), perhaps I shall a good deal gratify my own vanity.
So, in that spirit...I write....
An easy but beautiful plane ride to Hayden CO changed my climate and altitude considerably. On the day I left, Bham was going away from 82F and I live my life at around 760 feet above sea level. I landed in the cold (22F), with snow, at nearly 6900 ft sea level.
During the flight, I had breathtaking views of our wondrous land. I am reading at the same time an amazing book, The Heart of Everything that Is- an account of the great Indian warrior, Red Cloud by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
I had recently read a quote from that book that became vividly expressive in my imagination as I peered at the great plains- there is such a dramatic change when you see the rocky mountains begin to rise from this remote area!
-Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Plains
Melissa and Conner have been residents for about a month and are loving it- they like to ski and no better place for them than Steamboat. They have hardly unpacked due to the lure of the powder as Steamboat has had record snowfall. Every opportunity that they have to get away from work is a jump in the car and drive about 1 hr to the parking lot of the resort.
I found my stay quite the adventure and found a number of surprising discoveries-
22F is not as cold as 22F in Birmingham. The dry cold wasn't that bad with the right layers and sunshine. Throughout the week, I found myself wearing less heavy stuff and feeling quite comfortable. The wind was tough and shade or lack of sun wasn't pleasant- but a bright Colorado day afforded a marvelous walk in the brisk, cold, and dry air.
My first morning there, after a long workout and stretching routine, I sat in a pool with snow coming down on me a just meditated for a long time. It was an amazing way to recover from a fast paced 2nd semester at work. After that, I showered and just enjoyed downtown Steamboat- fun things to see and very friendly people.
Nature/Creation is God's gift to my sanity. Being in a majestic setting with woods, water, and wildlife is my natural battery charger and each day was what I needed.
I was also heartbroken during the trip as I learned of the school shooting in Nashville where TWO of the 9 people killed I knew personally: Katherine Koonce and I worked together at CPA and Cyndi Peak was my realtor there.
The news was so disturbing that I just had to get outside and pray and once I walked back all I felt I could do was to read some Scripture. For some reason, I was drawn to Ecclesiastes and I spent a good part of the morning reading and praying- it had a very comforting presence that day.
I tweeted my thoughts at the time-Ecclesiastes is my help for hard times and hard reality. It has a strange authenticity and scabs the wounds as we heal. The Bible does not run from darkness - that is what I tend to do. Distraction only delays despair. A life of activity is not a life of meaning. God IS here.
News of crime, economic distress, surging AI warnings, and the alliance of enemies can bring despair and hopeless. God’s Word is a great tool to help us navigate these valleys with light and hope. Ecclesiastes has been a great help to me this week. Keep reading, praying, loving!