Friday, August 28, 2009

ALL IS WELL

It is sunny here today along the river—not too hot, not too cool. The sky is a fresh-scrubbed blue thanks to the thunderstorms which moved through during the night.
As I write this I’m sitting at my desk with its window view where I can look out across the green yard and beyond, to the moving river which sparkles in the midday light. Cicadas are ratcheting loudly in the trees. Hummingbirds circle the feeders in swift aerial ballet.
In the kitchen I have pork slow-cooking in the crock pot for supper. The meat is well-seasoned with garlic and onions and roasted chilies. Though it won’t be ready for hours, it’s rich, spicy aroma fills the cottage and reminds me that I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast.
This morning Moon-the-Dog and I took our usual amble up the dead-end road and back. Then I poured myself a second cup of coffee and settled at the desk to get out some work. In a bit, I suppose I’ll have to figure what to do about lunch.
For now, however, I’m content to just lean back in the chair, gaze out the window, and consider…
I am a wealthy man. In fact, old King Midas himself was never so rich—though my bank account would doubtless give anyone who measures worth by dollars and cents a very hearty chuckle.
No matter. In truth, I’ve never cared about money. Don’t get me wrong…I like many of the things money can buy; I’m not adverse to spending money when I have it—it’s just that I don’t have to have it waiting to spend to feel secure. Or to feel wealthy.
Given a choice between great wealth and great health, I’d pick health every time. Except you simply can’t choose that, either. I’ve had various health problems in the past, have several current health issues—and might even die from something sooner or later. But then, I never figured I’d live forever.
Life is what we make of it within the moment, lived in the context of the here-and-now.
My here-and-now is a day so achingly beautiful that nothing money might buy would ever come close. How much would you have to pay to see sunshine streaming through the sycamores and bouncing like scattered diamonds off the water? What price to hear a wren’s sweet song? Or watch an eager bee nuzzle into a blue chicory blossom?
Others may choose to fill their blogs on this day with rants. Let them raise their voice in complaint—because there’s always something to complain about, a wrong to be righted, a protest to be made. Many take great delight in finding fault, targeting blame, pointing out guilt.
Life is not fair. Honesty and truth don’t always win. There is evil in the world and bad stuff does happen to good, innocent people.
Yet, for me, on this lovely August afternoon, I can’t find it within to complain or rant or be angry. My heart is just too filled with joy and gratefulness at being so very blessed. I have so much to be thankful for, and am surrounded by much beauty that's mine to enjoy.
My life isn’t perfect…but it is fulfilling and complete. Why, it even includes at least a couple of people who genuinely love me—plus my faithful old dog.
Love. Me. Just imagine!
So that’s my report for today from the riverbank. All is well. Wonderfully, beautifully well.

41 comments:

Carolyn H said...

Griz:

A very good post today--and so true. A good dog, a second cup of coffee, people who care about you--that's what it's really all about.

Carolyn H.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Your text is like an ode to life - your gratitude for all its gifts palpable. Its slips so pleasingly off the tongue that it should qualify as a poem. But that's why I come here - for the succulent content served with shimmering prose.

KGMom said...

You're in a contemplative mood, aren't you.
Here the weather has been overcast and cool all day. That puts me in a lazy mood. And I have a course syllabus to write. So I dawdle, walk around the house, clean the bathrooms, do a load of laundry and count my day well spent.
OK--must...write...that... syllabus.
Yes, all is well.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Your words and tone made me smile, sigh and relax. It is a beautiful day here too. I've been madly cleaning and packing so we can go up north to Hasty tomorrow to relax. Hmmm....hustle, sweat, snarl a bit to hurry up to relax. Something is wrong with my approach. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Attitude changed.

For months I've been trying to remember a word I heard that means "at peace" or "all is right with the world." Do you know such a word? I think it might be a latin word.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

Alleluia! I love your words of gratitude and honest reflection about life, your life. You have certainly "arrived" and have settled in to a nest of wealth with no monetary value - rather a richness of many textures and layers of self, nature, simplicity, truth, of vision, of faith, of love, of generosity, and on and on....I am aligned with you in what's important - what matters - what sustains and nourishes our hearts, souls, bodies and minds..... it cannot be bought - because it is not for sale - it is available to all who believe in it's value and promise........Amen.
Love to you
Gail
peace.......

p.s. it is our birthdays/anniversary tomorrow - please stop by for some music and to see some photos -

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Plus maybe a fine day, a stack of good books, and supper in the air…

Ahhhhh.

Wanda said...

You sound very content...being able to be happy for just "Being" is true happiness in my book. Just being alone and contemplating and finding peace of mind while doing so...well that's true happiness in my book too. So you must be truly happy.....at least in my book you are...I believe I am too! :) Nature and the appreciation of it does help with that!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

I treasure life day by day. It is such a marvelous thing, that world of grass and sky, wind and rain and sun, where rivers jingle over polished stones and a catbird whistle in the thicket.

I'm humbled by your comments because I know my shortcomings, my times of darkness; but I do appreciate your kind words…and more than anything, appreciate those who take their time to regularly spend some of here, with me, on the riverbank.

Thank you.

Scattering Lupines said...

It's reading pieces like this that make wish I could compose music like Chopin. Your words made such a melody play in my head...

I suppose that means I AM composing it, in a way. Or does that mean YOU are composing it? Or we all, as the world goes round...

Then again, maybe it's the lovely drumming rain I've been hearing all along.

Thank you for this post!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I suppose I am. It's just one of those days when I'd like to curl up in the tall grass and count clouds. My words seem hollow, my creative well empty. So I scribble a bit, cook, amble around, and am making one more GREAT ATTEMPT to straighten up my workroom.

I suspect you understand completely.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean about getting yourself in a tizzy to go relax.

About that vexing word…

When you consider and reject the more common suspects—i.e., tranquil, pacific, halcyon—about all I can think of that's unusual (or at least seldom crops up in, say the church bulletin or local newspaper) would be—"irenical," which has to do with finding peace or tranquility; and "ataraxy," which is a state of serene calmness. Both words, I believe, come from the Greek.

This is just off the top of my head. If neither of these hits it, give me your best clues again and I'll break out the OED and see what I can come up with. (It's a word not a phrase, right?)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

You, indeed, know and understand. Life is not what it makes of us…but what we make of it. Perspective is everything. And I think that most of us, no matter our circumstances, have more on the good/positive side of the ledger than we acknowledge. By the standards of the average human on the planet…we're immeasurably blessed.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Oh, I have no doubt whatsoever that you're happy. Your blog fairly resounds with that contentment and delight with each new post.

There are days when I'm not so happy, but still filled with thankfulness and joy. And sometime, I just have so much fun that I fairly explode. More than anything, I love the adventure.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lupines…

If that's the case, then know my words are simply the wind…it is your chimes that ring out the melody. And the rain thrumming on the roof simply added sensory texture.

To hear that song—your own song—is true magic.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Ah Grizzled I so enjoyed reading this. Life is so precious moment by moment indeed, and all these aspects of the wonder of it all are, as you say, riches indeed.

Jayne said...

And the older I get, the more I can fully appreciate just of what you speak. I truly do try to remind myself to soak in sacred moments as each day is a gift. And, like you, I find very little use for complaining and griping. What's the point? The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, it's cooling off, and I am alive. It's so enough.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

Perspective and choice…how we view our personal situation and what we choose to make of it. In each case, we can go down whichever road we wish.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

That's it, for me—what is the use of complaining? Not a single one of us sitting before our computers reading a blog or commenting isn't awash in life's gifts and blessings.

Age give you an increasing awareness of time—its passing and preciousness. When our final moments come, I really don't think most of us would choose to have a few more thousand dollars in the bank account…I believe we'd rather have a few more days, in good health, to take one long and final last look around this lovely earth.

Jain said...

My day was spent in a cramped cubicle with deadlines, ringing phones, stress. Reading about yours when I got home made me stop and think--again--about how grateful I am for my wealth, too. Ever since I was small, all I wanted from Life was a good man, a piece of land, and a fine hound. I have all that, and an extra dog, to boot! It never ceases to amaze me.

Thank you for a lovely transition into what should be a beautiful weekend. Enjoy yours, Scribe.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

It is a wonderful thing to know, from an early age, the path to your individual happiness. The trick is to not get sidetracked from about the mid-teen years onward by the vision and goals of others.

I believe that those of us who love nature and the outdoor life are fundamentally simple in that we're easily pleased. We truly need very little to give us peace and happiness…except, perhaps, the time to enjoy these few basic things.

I'm glad you've found your happiness. I hope you have the time to enjoy and appreciate it all this weekend.

Rowan said...

I've missed reading your posts while I've been away and this is a lovely one to come back to. Like you I would always choose health over wealth, the things in life that really matter to me and give me the greatest pleasure are nearly all free. One of the things I really love about your blog is that you always see the beauty of the natural world around you - it's there for everyone to see if they choose but so many people don't even notice birdsong or the wild flowers or even rainbows,sunrises and sunsets. Their lives would be much richer if they did. There is no doubt that, whatever the state of your bak balance,you are a rich man in the ways that count. The richness I've been seeing in the last few days is in the hedgerows, the berries are ripening and glowing in the sunshine - when we have any:) - and this year they are incredibly prolific. A good harvest for the birds and animals that depend on them to [prepare for the winter. Have a great weekend Scribe.

Bernie said...

Hi Grizz, I totally feel your contentment and happiness today and I love knowing you feel this way. May you have many more blessed days and always know and feel the love you so deserve. My wish for you is that you will feel the same way tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that......etc. Many, many hugs my friend.....:-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

Well, I've missed your nice and thoughtful comments since you've been away—but I hope you had a good trip, filled with fun and adventure.

I'm sure much of my attitude toward and the pleasure I derive from such natural things as sunsets and wildflowers and the song of birds comes directly from my parents. Both Mom and Dad loved to ramble the woods and fields, wildflowering, gathering wild edibles, just being out and about as far beyond the roads as possible. They grew up in the steep and storied mountains of eastern Kentucky, on hill-county farms. There were no automobiles in that region during those days. Neither of my grandparents ever owned a car. You got around by wagon, horseback, muleback, or on foot…mostly the latter. The walker has time to look and learn—and to marvel.

My parents taught me to appreciate the small, simple, natural things, and I have never departed from such ways.

Welcome home…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Thank you for your kind words—I know you, too, appreciate such things. It's clear to me from reading your blog that yours is a warm and open heart. You have a lovely spirit about you, one of compassion and thoughtful understanding. You live amid grace and appreciation, and I'm sure your friends count you as a daily blessing.

I hope you always have much happiness and contentment in your daily life…

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - you are an optimist - as you said on my glass half full post - your post has made me ultra cheerful today - not least because of that exquisite chicory flower - a clear washed blue if ever I saw one.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I expect it was your blog question that set me to contemplating the resultant post that ended up here—and I thank you for that. I do have worries and concerns, of course, and have my days when I'm so depressed I can barely function…and see little reason to try. But then I look around and know I'm too blessed, too moved by wonder, too thankful for the wealth of love and joy and gifts in my life to be anything but grateful and optimistic.

I'm glad you like the chicory photo…I liked it too. It is really a lovely flower. My mother always called them blue sailors.

giggles said...

AMEN!!

Now: Are you talking to ME??!! I ranted recently over at my place....seems silly now, reading your words.... Sometimes I just can't help myself... The stupidity in the world sometimes.... But as I visit you here today, I contemplate quitting my job.... My hubby simply said "It's your decision..." but then complained to my friend's hubby how nervous he was... I said to them both," It's not all about the money!" I wouldn't contemplate this change if we truly couldn't afford it, and I'm not yet sure we really can.... But I am where you are......and wanting to LIVE that philosophy rather than wait until I can 'afford" to live that philosophy.... Why wait if it will help us all appreciate the small things every day??!!!

Can I get off of this ridiculous hampster wheel for awhile???? Please????

giggles said...

P.S. You? Depressed?? Never would have thought that....ever.... Honestly?? Ponderous. Heavy-hearted at times...but never depressed.... And believe me. I know depression.

Rita said...

Your blessings are magnified by many fold, just for the sheer fact that you are aware that you are blessed and that you are so grateful.
Hugs
Rita

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Came by you via Gail today. So many perspectives do we share. We even share two similar awards. Most importantly we see life itself as its own treasure.

I quote your post, "For now, however, I’m content to just lean back in the chair, gaze out the window, and consider..."

So too, I, what wonders to behold...

Blessings,
Rose Marie
APOGEE Poet

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

One of these days I'll tell you about the jobs I've quit over the years! Great, envious, to-die-for jobs paying serious money. But…jobs. Not the pleasurable, fulfilling work that I needed to do, the vocation I was born to do—work that satisfied my heart and fed my soul. Not, I must add, work that ever paid what those JOBS paid, not in cash, anyway. But hey, it's life we're talking here—not bank accounts.

Have I had regrets? Sure—just not for very long. Plenty of fear, though, and sometimes guilt. But in the end, you have to live with yourself, your actions, your choices. Sometimes—and almost always on the important stuff—there are no "do-overs." Think first, then jump. But jump if that's the answer.

When can you afford to make such a move? Never. More will always be more. The better question is when can you no longer afford to not make make the move? Too late is always too late. Sometimes you have to say, okay, this isn't as much as it could be—maybe not even as much as I want or need—but it's going to have to do because from here on out it has to be enough. Life can be moulded around circumstances.

And to answer your other comment…

Yes, honestly and seriously depressed. In the worst instance to the point that I lost 100 pounds in less than a year because my life was such an utterly unhappy mess. No drugs or drink involved; just emotional failure, totally flat-lined, because I'd broken my own code.

Trust me, I have stood on the edge and stared long and hard into the abyss. And there are still days when I have to keep myself from not ambling over for another glance.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rita…

You are so very right, blessing are always all the sweeter when accepted in gratitude. And I have been long and fully blessed…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rose Marie…

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you found your way to the riverbank from Gail's place. I hope you find reason to return often. You're always welcome.

The Solitary Walker said...

This lifted my spirits on reading it just now, Grizzled. Thanks so much for posting it.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Well, you know where I'm coming from, I'm sure. Sometimes the best medicine we can give ourselves is a glance around…at the beautiful, wonderful world out there, and then count our friends and those who care, and just open up the refrigerator and cupboard doors and see that our next meals are already taken care of—that we have a place safe and comfortable place to sleep, money in our pocket, food on the table, and a bit of time in which to enjoy. Rich by any standards!

giggles said...

Thanks... I keep reading your response...will keep refering to it for strength....

But do tell of your past.... It certainly doesn't permeate here.... I expect you could do some compelling storytelling (and thus compelling reading) when you are so moved to share.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Perhaps one day I will, although to what end, I'm not sure if there's any value. But I would say that I do think it permeates here, in the briefest glimpses…like movement in the shadows caught out of the corner of your eye.

In regards to your decision—think carefully, but with both your head and your heart. And never be afraid to take a chance on yourself—or to feel guilty about doing what you know to be YOUR right thing.

giggles said...

Thanks! When I first entered the then new career, it was a complete leap...a total career change for me.... It was new and fun and I was very successful.... The "old-timers" were asking me how I was doing so well.... Now, not so much.... I'm tired of hearing the same old cliches and edicts of "leadership" and have no interest hiring a staff to allow me to earn more money for THEM. (I know, I'm a little bitter....) Respect of my friends and peers is very important to me and I am not feeling the love these days.....

My friend's husband just lost his job, not by choice, and when he heard me say I wanted to leave mine...he was very discouraging towards me.... (Interestingly, it was a snide remark of his, he was trying to be funny, but it cut like a knife, in the past that set me reeling towards my current state of mind!) And thought that maybe I ought to think of my family instead of just myself.... (My stepmom believes me to be terribly selfish, too....) I said to him, "If mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy!"
So.... I don't know if he's mad/jealous because I may have the CHOICE to leave my job or something else.... I don't always trust people's motives when they think they are giving prudent advice....
Anyways, I'm meeting with a colleague the day kids go back to school to discuss the possibilities...he's been eyeing this opportunity for a couple of years now....
I have images in my head of gardening, painting reading, community service and generally taking, what I feel is, a well earned "sabbatical...." And since I have "reinvented" myself in the past, I am not particularly worried that I couldn't do it again! (Ignorance is bliss...)

Thanks for listening. I appreciate a disinterested third party....an objective observer.... A wise sage....grizzled, incorrigible....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Here's how I'd look at this…first, what's the payoff/value/positive, the best-case, if leaving is the right decision—for you and your family? How much better does that make your and their life? Be honest, don't over-value or under-value.

Then work it from the opposite side of the equation…what's the loss/cost/negative, worst-case, if leaving turns out to have been the wrong decision? Again, for you and your family. How much worse does that make your and their life? Again, be honest in potential.

I'm guessing, and this is purely a guess coming from me and my personality, that the downside is not all that down, that it could be more-or-less corrected if necessary, while the upside is something that can mean more to you than you can possibly imagine.

We all want to play it safe. To be responsible, do the right thing—and not be selfish. But I'm a true believer that life is to be lived with courage and honor, and a sense of adventure. Very few people—even when it turns out they mess up and leave a job that in hindsight was better in certain ways—will see that mistake as a MISTAKE; life's adventure, the opportunity to be free, have a choice, try a new road…make a mistake…is oddly, more rewarding than sticking with success. Living with less can be more; better to have followed your heart and failed than never have stepped outside the safe boundaries.

It's LIFE, Giggles…not same-old, same-old, safe, dull, predictable, boring, unrewarding (no, money isn't a reward, it's just an installment on a portion of your soul) life.

Have faith, have courage, and look ahead.

giggles said...

See? That's why I asked you..am sharing with you....cuz we think very much alike..... Except you can say it better than I can!!!

I think part of my "job" while I am here...in this life..in this existence, is to experience life...a full life...to "collect" experiences.... I once heard a definition of greatness that I really love and can relate to... Greatness is fulling your true potential, whatever it may be.... I don't think I'm there yet...and hopefully won't be "moving on" any time soon.... But I do have this tenacious thought, because I have been so good at delayed gratification: What am I waiting for??!! Life's too short! (And I am already 2 years older than my mom when she passed on....not that I am ill or anything...but...you never know....)
I've not ever been irresponsible in any major decisions, I won't be starting now!
Oh, I'm blathering on.... I think we agree and I'll let you know as the process unwinds.... I'm getting myself in a tizzy too soon... It may not work out at all!!
Again, I thank you!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I do believe in that definition: "Greatness is fulling your true potential, whatever it may be…" I would only add that in fulfilling that potential you do so with honor and courage and compassion. Life is about purpose—your purpose. Find that, do it as best you can, and you'll never regret the life you have—and neither will those around you who matter most.

Please do let me know how it goes. If I've helped you in any tiny way, I'm pleased—but what I truly want to hear is that you're happy in whatever decision you make.