A Reminder of the Daily Blessings

Tom Westfall relates this insight from his adventures in artifact collecting:

It seems like there are times when our children are small and having a bad day that we feel like they will never grow up and we yearn for peace and quiet. About the next time we turn around, however, we’re seeing them off to college, walking them down the aisle, or helping them move into their very first home. The house is suddenly quiet, and the tire swing in the backyard swaying in the gentle breeze serves as a silent monument to days gone by.

As I sit among the thousands of artifacts in my “museum room” a particular piece will catch my eye and I often spend a moment reflecting upon its discovery. In the corner of the case from 1982, I look at a small, white corner notched point. It is perfect, and as I open the display case and pick it up, I am reminded of a little girl just four years old wanting to look for arrowheads with her dad. The day is much too cold and she is much too small, but she is so insistent and so there we were, leaving the warmth and comfort of the car and trudging up the slope of a winter wheat field. I’m smiling at the memory of that tiny but determined little girl, bundled in a bright blue snowsuit with attached mittens, fighting the biting wind as we made our way to the blown spot on “Arrowhead County,” one of our favorite hills.

Even I was feeling the sting of the wind that day and I figured we wouldn’t be out more than ten or fifteen minutes before she was ready to go. The wind was blowing hard enough that we really couldn’t talk, and we drifted across the eroded area, never separated by more than about 30 feet. Suddenly I heard her call that she had found an arrowhead, and I saw her bending over (the best that one can bend in a snowsuit). I arrived as she was trying to pick up the point but her mittens were those slick vinyl things and it was just cold enough that they didn’t want to bend. It took us several minutes to get her hand free from those bulky mittens, but she was determined to pick that point up on her own. Perhaps that’s the same spirit she demonstrates today in medical school as she pursues her dream of becoming a doctor.

It is good for me to be reminded of the blessings in each day. Especially when I fail to recognize that this is a unique time for my family. Despite the trying schedules and keeping pace with the seemingly endless energy displayed by our three little ones, they will never be this age again. Sometime in the near future, I'll be staring at the little treasures that we as a family have accumulated during our hiking excursions--the fossils, semi-precious stones (we call them gems), and other "artifacts"--and be thankful for this special time that I experienced as a father.


KaitHudson said...

I'm in the lobby of a youth hostel - done packing, and managed to grab an internet card. I read this last post and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm glad you'll cherish the 'treasures'. I acquired my fair share of them on our treks when I was little. My parent's pockets would be full of 'amazing rocks'. Haha. God bless.

Slamdunk said...

thanks for the note Kait during your pack day--sounds like selecting pants with lots of pockets is an essential for all Dads. my problem is remembering to remove all of those rocks and trinkets from my pockets before they are put in the washing machine--resulting in an unwanted yet lasting memory of the day's treasures...