Living Every Step

Stopping in my tracks, I looked around. Open fields stretched in all directions. Over half a mile behind me, I could see the green mobile home where I lived. From this vantage point the yard around it looked like a vivid Grandma Moses painting.

The rich, brown soil of an early summer garden planted next to the house contrasted beautifully with the surrounding bright-green lawn. I saw rows of vegetables, mower trails and a green John Deere tractor parked next to the gray machine shed. Behind the house, but dominating the yard was a tool shed made of field stones, large, a blue-sided barn and a navy Harvester silo.

An overwhelming desire to be home and not out in the middle of the field washed over me. I felt hot and tired. Impatiently, I muttered to myself, “Deciding to go for a walk on my day off was a stupid idea. I should be home taking care of chores. Now I’m tired, but the dishes, vacuuming and laundry are still undone. I wish I could instantly transfer from here to my kitchen the way angels move from one place to another.”

Sighing, I turned around to slowly plod back home, thinking, “When Captain Kirk on Star Trek wants to return to the Enterprise, all he does is pull out his communicator and say, ‘Beam me up, Scotty.’  A moment later he’s teleported to the ship.”

An unexpectedly cool breeze danced past, giving me some relief from the hot sun glaring down from a blue sky. The rustling sound of a small creature in the tall grass along the line fence made me stop to search for the source. After a moment of silence, I saw it, a small, wild rabbit apparently thought he was invisible as he munched on grass.

Beautiful pink wild flowers growing in tall grass also caught my eye. While picking some to put in a vase, I glanced over at an oat field. The wind pushed the plants this way and that, making the field look like a green ocean with lapping waves.

My mood had improved by the time I returned home. Looking at the flowers in my hand, I thought, “If I had had the power to return instantly when I wanted to, I would have missed seeing the rabbit, picking these flowers and enjoying how the oat field looked like a green ocean.”

As a little girl I spent a lot of time wishing for Christmas to come. Before I had finished playing with my new toys and reading my new books, I wished for Easter to come. Before all the Easter eggs were eaten, I was wishing for summer to be here. One day Mom scolded me, saying, “You’re wishing your life away!” I never really understood what she had meant until the day I went for that walk and wanted to be home in an instant.

Sometimes wishing for things that we want to have happen blinds us to the beautiful experiences available to us on our way to our goals. Thankfully, the day I went for that walk, I realized that it was a gift for humans to not be able to ‘fast forward’ though the “boring” times of life.

Recently I attended a party celebrating a niece’s graduation from high school. The beautiful girl was valedictorian of her class. Her plans are to attend college with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. Her father said to me, “She has what it takes and can do it, but she thinks the seven years to get there is too long.”

Laughing, I said, “You and I both know how fast seven years can go rolling by.” The proud father nodded, no doubt thinking about how quickly the last eighteen years had passed. Thinking of the lesson I had learned while taking that tiresome walk years before, I said, “Tell your daughter there are friendships to build, places to visit and things for her to do besides study and take tests. Tell her to enjoy every step of the way toward her degree.”

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