Springtime Gratitude

As I come into the spring of 2022, I am grateful.  My life is much different than it was four years ago, with changes I could not possibly have imagined.  Yet, here I am with a heart full of gratitude as I reflect upon the many blessings in my life.    

I have three of the most beautiful kids a father could ever want, and I could never find words adequate to describe what they mean to me.  I get to play music with these same people, who have grown into incredible musicians and singers in their own right.  I have a wonderful dog and a couple of silly cats.  I have a peaceful life in the country, a meaningful job  with great coworkers, and I know the riches of friendship.  I often wake up to the sound of Canadian geese, and always to the song of the Nooksack.  Just a few minutes ago, there was a heron outside my window, staring at me.  Yes, I am rich.  

I’m also very fortunate to live close to the foothills where I can walk almost daily in solitude with my dog.  In some ways, this place might not seem that special—a logging road that bears the generational scars of overcutting, but it’s special to me in that I’m able to embrace a measure of solitude if even for a brief moment almost daily.  It’s a place that I have come to know on a very intimate basis.  Sometimes when I have my daughter, we go together, other times I might go with a friend, but most often, I’m by myself.   The road ascends along a gushing creek for a mile or so before climbing steeply through both forest and clear cut.  Sometimes I climb high, but most often due to time constraints, I only go for a couple of miles before turning back.  Every season there has its magic, and the view down the Nooksack toward the lowlands of Whatcom County is astonishing, the higher you go.  Whether I’m walking through sheets of driving rain, or climbing in shorts and a t-shirt, it’s always beautiful in its own way.  I've seen some of the most incredible sunsets and have been up there in the dead of night.  

I do a lot of thinking when I’m out there pushing up the hill.  I’ve also seen lots of wildlife, too.  Deer, opossums, cougar, and bear are among the animals that have crossed my path.  I once felt my very life depended on those uphill rides and climbs, but not so much anymore.  I've found the rhythm of walking to be a healing act.  Nature is a powerful medicine. 

My wish for you this spring is that you relish as I do, the simple joy of walking, the treasure of family, the wondrous songs of returning birds, and the first trembling green shoots of new life bursting forth from the earth.    

I have gratitude for you, and am richer for the stories you have shared with me.  I hope they continue.  May this time of year be a time of renewal for you and may peace prevail on Earth.  


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