(This is a poem from Reflections: A Journey to God, which is about the awe, mystery, hardships, and blessings of life.)
This is what I know:
I know it’s a fall morning in Oregon. I prepare to walk my dog, Max, a 15-pound white fox terrier.
I live in a gated, retirement community. I look forward to this walk again: comfortable, protected, reliable.
Verdant mountains surround our little neighborhood in the distance. Orange-brown berms with splotches of wild vegetation frame the lower and hill-top streets. Fresh pine-scented, cool mountain air, definitely provide a sensual treat. I am at peace, safe, and warm.
Turkey vultures and huge ravens glide majestically in the powder-blue sky. White paint-brush clouds swirl, presenting a gentle backdrop to a warm golden sun that makes me high. I feel lifted, loved, enlightened.
As Max and I walk up the hilltop street, a herd of deer rummage through the forest of madrone and ponderosa pines. Max goes crazy. His commotion startles a hidden family of quail into panicked flight. He missed the wild turkeys scampering further down the road to a bushy safe-haven out of sight.
There is enchantment here. I know that people less fortunate are hurting and have much to fear. There is wonder here. There is endless time here.
Pain exists. I see disease, war, violence, pollution, homelessness. I have dealt with poverty, abuse, prejudice, addictions, loss, grief, trauma, hopelessness. But, they do not live here.
I know anger explodes; fear paralyzes; anxiety panics; guilt destroys; depression terrorizes. But, they do not live here.
In the distance, cloud slivers merge into a black drape that floats above the mountains. The sun is still out but rain begins. Max doesn't seem to mind as pelting drops morph into gushing fountains.
I am getting cold, wet, and uncomfortable. I know a warm safe-haven awaits me. The air smells sweet. Sunlight streams through the cloud-curtain The rain stop and a glorious rainbow arch appears.
Golden light divides into orange, red, yellow, purple, green. In a flash the rainbow disappears. The sun warms my face again and the sky becomes clean.
I know beauty exists. It shines in art, music, rain, trees, mountains, snow, oceans, animals, peace, joy, love, rainbows, poetry.
I know I’m mortal and this physical life will someday end. I feel a glowing light inside. It has rainbow colors. It comforts, sustains, and encourages me to bend.
Today, I have claimed a better life.
Today, I have claimed my unconditional worth and value.
All people have the ability to refute all that is negative, painful, and self-destructive.
All people can walk in the Light; breathe in the Light; move in the Light.
All people can have more life than ever imagined.
Even in the darkest of nights, in the most troubled of life, infinite beacons of rainbow colors are inside of us and all around us.
I know the power of the positive will always overcome all that is negative.
I know that the attitude of gratitude will lift our spirit like wings of an eagle.
No matter who or where you are or come from, you can walk in the freedom and safety of the Light.
This is what I know and one thing more.
I love Robert Hotaling--beloved father, dad, step-dad, grandfather, husband, author, educator, WWII veteran, lover of life.
He died on October 16th, 2011 at the age of 93; active, alert, independent right up to the end.
His soul shines golden with others I hold dear.
This is what I know.
This is what I know...
(More info on Reflections: A Journey to God.) Just click this link: On Amazon and Christian Faith Publishing
Love and Light: Gary and Susan Eby