Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stopping to Enjoy Our Rewards Despite Our Trails and Travails

I am three years, almost four years older than was Bilbo Baggins when he started out There And Back Again. My first 50 years on this earth were not as comfortable as were those of that little hobbit, then again my trials and travails, while nowhere as adventurous as outsmarting dragons and fighting orcs, have been as adventurous, full of hardship, and rewarded with goodness as are those of any mortal or magical being on this earth. I try to remember that last part from time to time, that out trials and travails are rewarded so I sometimes stop to smell the roses, listen to the birds, and sip the cool water of a mountain spring along the trail that I have blazed for myself. If I had not stopped for something just like that I would probably not have appreciated the pictured sunset as much as I did appreciate it. I drove along a road in southern Arizona a few nights ago marveling at the wondrous colors and tones that the sun and its setting had painted the western skies. Every now and again, when I had the chance I pulled over and took some pics of it as it progressed. As I took the one above, and several others like it, two Border Patrol Agents watched me curiously from their stance at a checkpoint. Before I was done I noticed they had shifted their glances toward the fiery gem shining through the blood red sky that I had been looking at in wide eyed wonder. Here I share that with you. While you can click on the picture to enlarge it, you probably will not have your breath stolen from within your soul as did I when first glanced up and saw this spectacle of mother nature. Mother Nature, God, the heavens and earth, or whatever force to which you want to attribute such wonders had humbled me with my reward that evening.

Then, a couple of nights later, when I thought I had seen a sunset beyond compare I was gifted with another spectacle from on high. This one a bit earlier in the evening, but close to sunset indeed. It was as if the heavens had opened before me and the glory that was there was shining on through down onto we mere mortals. I am not a religious guy, but I can be spiritual, and i certainly can be floored by wondrous events no matter how trifling they seem to others. Most people did not stop to notice, but when I saw light coming on through I was thankful I had my camera, and I was thankful I had noticed despite having been in a rush to be somewhere else at that moment. The road goes forever on...and I suppose if that is all we are concerned about - well then we miss sights like this one because let me tell you it did not last all that long before it was gone.

Click on either of the above to view a larger size - nowhere as good as the original but bigger makes it look better.

Before the sun had set that second night, it gave one final farewell performance that I think some of my readers will enjoy. This time, besides the sky, the winds and the clouds, it had another partner, Old Glory, to accompany it during its finale for the night. Long may she wave at Twilight's Last Gleaming and may we all wake to see her By The Dawn's Early Light. You know when you think about it, one of those rewards I spoke about was living free. By the way that is not free living. We should never forget that and our trials and travails should make it stay that way, that we live free. It's not easy but the rewards, heck they are well worth it - aren't they! If I do not get another chance to blog before Independence Day allow me to say now - have a safe and happy 4th.
If you are always in a hurry you are going to miss things in life that were there to enjoy; things that were well worth taking a moment, or even a lifetime, to appreciate. Think about that as we approach the celebration of the birth of our nation, and think about all that it has taken to keep that flag flying and to preserve our freedoms - even those as simple as being able to stop and watch a sunset. Then ready yourself for whatever it takes to preserve them.

All the best,
Glenn B


Humble wife said...

No need to repeat my previous comment...

I am a guilty party in taking a zillion western sunsets- I always believe I am given a new mural each night to close my day.

Oh and for the record LE stuff sells big time, and you won't need a ghost writer(which many people do).

Just my thoughts!!
Jennifer(funny I just looked at my pic for me- and smiled and remembered~sunset!)

Glenn Bartley said...

I actually started to write just the book you are telling me to write. lost the disc i had it on and just lost interest in it altogether. maybe someday for my grandchildren. Now that is wishful thinking that I live long enough to be blessed with grandkids.

All the best,

Jungle Mom said...

I enjoy these photos!