Monday, August 22, 2016

A Valley of Life

I crossed a high mountain ridge the other day to attend a 100th birthday celebration. It was a three-hour drive, and I decided to take the back roads. From my car, I could see a long way into a valley below as the road wound down the mountainside. It was a scenic wooded land with only a few cleared farm fields visible as quilted patchwork in the occluded distance.

It was also a beautiful day and under the green canopy of a vast forest, I could sense where some homes were located by the light gray plumes of wood fire smoke rising from beneath the thick tree cover.

It was a pleasant experience and one of pastoral empathy; I even imagined the comfort of porch sitting and innocuous conversation.

When peaceful scenes like this occur, it engenders in me a profound sense of loss for my mind remembers more of the world’s chaos than my eyes could sustain while enjoying a singular grand vista.

I do ask myself the proverbial question. Why is this so?

I have experienced villages and cities in many parts of this magnificent world. I’ve had conversations and laughs with the simple souls of life, and I’ve conversed with the leadership of nations on the major questions of the day.

It is my observation that both groups want nothing more than to sit by a comforting fire with the calming aroma of wood smoke and share their experiences of life, doze a little, maybe even whittle some creativity in their minds while enjoying the simple things in life: family, friends, good food and drink, children’s laughter and a comforting sleep.

It seems that is our nature, and all we have to do is claim it by being it.

Would conflict end then? Would children no longer cry from hunger and adult carelessness? Would love then fill the little hearts of humankind? I wonder.

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