Friday, January 23, 2009

Sunrise in Wyoming

My bride and I went out to view the sunrise over the Big Horn mountains while parked high atop Rattlesnake Ridge. We had made the decision to have an early breakfast and then go watch the sunrise while getting ready for bed the night before. What was funny is that I kept waking up, checking the clock, wondering when it would finally be time to get up – because I was actually excited – looking forward to the event.

Reminds me of times past waiting for the clock to move. There is a built in element of anxiousness while waiting for your birthday or time to open gifts at Christmas. But for me, the night before my dad was going to take me fishing or hunting resulted in far more sleepless nights. Much anticipated were those long journeys up to the old home place for those once or twice a year vacations, where we would fish and hunt in the deep woods.

The old folks, grandma and grandpa, at that time, still lived in the log cabin where my dad was born. You could see the way they long ago had connected the two structures, if you studied the construction. At some point long ago, they had decided to place a single roof over the living quarters and the kitchen structure. For some reason, these two sections were generally kept separate. Maybe it was considered risky to have a single roof over both living and cooking quarters, just in case the wood burning cook stove did not behave itself.

If you know where to look, you can still find that log home in Lick Creed Community, Adair Township, District Number 6. That is the way the birth place is listed on my Dad’s official birth record, where the house still stands. Sadly there is not a family living there anymore. Hunters or maybe city folk own it, and it is maintained, though the outbuildings are mostly long gone.

But I love to return and stand there every chance I get, about every 10 years or so. As nostalgia, it is great. As a reminder that you can never go back, not so good. We’ve moved around a lot, mostly job related. Occasionally we get a chance to travel through some place we used to live, and drive by some house still brimming with memories. But it is just not the same, though I would still try to make it so.

At the old home place for example, the secret hiding place for the fishing spear (gig) – is empty. The old barn is gone. The outhouse is still there though. The pile of ashes has almost disappeared. Visible from the side yard, the lower acreage that my dad ploughed with a team of horses remains. Nearby, the old wagon trail with ruts scaring the ground, remains from a much earlier time. Why do I yearn for such things, with an aching heart?

Were times really easier at an earlier time or is it just self deception? Maybe we set in place a filter or unconsciously establish a region of selective memory. However, if there were that many good things about a past time, will I some day view the current time with such favor? If so, might I somehow filter or select so that the present time could currently be lived as I will remember it in a decade?

People say I tend to look at the world through rose colored glasses. I do not mind this observation. Consider Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Isn’t this reason enough to celebrate? How about in First John 3:1a “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” That is love indeed, that the creator of the universe would let us be fam.

Then again, don’t forget the sunrise – which started all this meandering. A verse that relates can be found in Matthew 13:42 “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” This is one thing to pray about as you watch the sun clear the horizon in a pristine view like the Big Horns. Oh to be truly righteous – to have the sense of forgiveness that God has so freely given to those who love him and obey his commandments. Watch the sunrise – soon. See if you feel that renewed feeling of hope, with the coming of a new day. I look forward to each new day – and look to find the good things about it, to encourage all that I can, to spread the good news to everyone that I meet and most of all to be a blessing. Is that too much burden to put on the rising of a new sun, the dawning of a new day?

Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”. May the Lord grant you a time of refreshing like this!

1 comment:

Jessi Dawn said...

I miss you, Daddy.