1. Riding Horses
Ronald Reagan said “I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of a man, as the outside of a horse.” And I couldn’t agree with him more. As a little kid I was horseback before I was stable on my own two feet. Horses have been associated with hot, dusty work with my dad, and the heady rush of freedom flying across pastures at reckless speeds. It’s learning another language, and increased awareness, growing confidence, and trust in action. The lessons saddle learned, and life applied. Most of all being horseback was a way to set my world back on its axis when life overwhelmed. It’s the loveliest place, I’ve found – being horseback.
2. The Elderly
The elderly lives intertwined with ours. Their faces, their hands, a testament to how they lived and the lives they’ve touched. The old men who meet for their morning coffee and tell stories over the top of each other. The old women calling you sweetheart with boxes of handwritten recipes. Their forgetfulness in regards to the day to day, but startling clarity when naming faces in black and white photos. The wisdom and deep chuckles that draw you in. The grumpiness that overwhelms you with the desire to hug them happy. The remarkable beauty in a feminine face that exudes a life of compassion, a life of service, and joy on the far side of struggle. It’s the old man’s hands, strong and calloused – a testament to a life of hard work, a life of providing for those dear to him. Those who have overcome the need to smooth wrinkles, who understand that to erase the passage of time is to erase a life.
Dusk, it’s truly the loveliest time of day. Not as ostentatious as the glorious colors of sunset, nor a call to rise and be productive like dawn. It bathes everything in a rich golden hue that softens, and warms. The world becomes more inviting at dusk, drawing me to pause, enticing me to gratefulness. Dusk never fails to captivate, nor does any other time of day so distinctly remind me what it means to “Be still and know that I am God.”
Strawberries are the most anticipated indicator that summer is just around the corner. There are few things as simple and delightful as a flat of sun warmed, vividly red strawberries from a local fruit stand. They’re a burst of full flavor, with a sweetness that refreshes instead of puckers. I love fruit, but nothing quite as much as these berries. The store bought versions never quite measures up to the daily-picked at perfection fruit stand versions which have spoiled me picky. Strawberries in hand, summer is almost here.
Structurally porches blend homes gracefully with their surroundings, instead of the stark contrast between house and yard. The wrap around porch provided a backdrop for moments worth savoring in my life. It was where we, sopping wet and greedy, stuff ourselves with snacks on the gazebo before darting back to the pool on hot summer afternoons. It was a racetrack for training wheels, and an escape from chaos, book in hand. Where we handed bruised hearts to mom, and broken toys to dad. Porches are for first kisses and long conversations. Morning coffee savored amidst fragrant vines, and deep toned wind chimes. Porches are for meals that linger past evening, time spent in a worn bible, a dog’s head in your lap. Porches are for fresh air, and soul soothing views.
Katie is a twenty three year old writer finishing up a degree in Journalism. She grew up on a ranch outside of Yosemite National Park which gave her a firm foundation in Agriculture, and established her enthusiasm for the Great Outdoors. A heart that seeks the Lord coupled with a passion for people and their stories, affords her a continually growing understanding of all the joy and grace that is life. You can find her blogging at storiesimeet.wordpress.com or on twitter @MarchettiKatie