I was a young college student I was offered the opportunity to spend
a week in Colorado with my parents and several couples from their
square dance club. Before accepting this offer I had to get my facts
straight. Just what kind of living arrangements would we have? What
would the physical setting be like? What would the daily activities
include? Just how much freedom would I have? After all, at any age,
wouldn’t a week of square dancing with ones parents be somehow
less than the perfect vacation?
-------- I learned that the others
would be engaged in square dance activities much of the time. My
time would be largely my own and the setting would be extraordinary!
It sounded too good to be true. I was excited about the prospects
of time shared with only the trees, mountains, streams, and animals
- alone with nature, a pad, a pen, and my guitar. I envisioned transcribing
the call of the mountain stream as it recited its poetry to me.
I eagerly anticipated the time when I would cast wishes upon a thousand
stars as they shined brightly, free from the distortion of the city
lights and the distractions of man's fury. It wasn't long until
my mind was made up, my heart was prepared, and my bags were packed.
-------- When we arrived I immediately
checked out my mountain sanctuary. I was free to roam -- free to
become one with the awe-inspiring landscape - surrounded by mountains
on every side. I set out to accomplish my peaceful goals - guitar
in hand, pen and pad on my knee - soaking up the wondrous sounds
of God's creation. It was, without a doubt, most inspiring.
-------- As the week went on my inspiration
grew. I became more and more impressed with God's creation as I
felt compelled to spend less and less time alone in the trees. My
pen gave way to conversation and my guitar gave way to the sounds
of my new friends as they talked, told jokes, and enjoyed the mornings,
afternoons, and evenings of square dancing. By week's end, I'd even
found myself in the midst of a challenge to learn one of their dances.
-------- A caravan of cars, linked
together by citizens band radios, left the resort area and began
a journey homeward filled with the playful banter of moments we
shared in laughter. One by one our caravan dwindled as we each went
our separate way. Upon my return home I began to share the experience
with those around me. I spoke of God’s creation with great
fondness. The conversation was almost entirely about the friends
I had made and the times we shared. Reviewing the words I had recorded
on my pad, I discovered that what had begun as a tribute to nature
revealed a testament to friendship and humanity. When my photos
returned from the lab, I brushed aside the breathtaking landscape
photography and searched out poses and candid shots of the people
I had met, wondering just who I would or wouldn't see again.
-------- In retrospect I realize that
I accomplished my initial goal. I had sought a situation through
which I would draw creative inspiration from nature. This is exactly
what I found. What I did not expect to learn was my most profound
revelation. No matter how low the valley, how high the mountain,
or how flat the plain -- no matter how dry the desert or how deep
the sea – nature’s greatest gift, available to each
and every one of us is each other!
© 2004 - The Trill House