A friend sent me a book in the mail a couple of months ago that I’ve been waiting for the right moment to crack. 12 hours after settling in on my Aunt Renee’s Tennessee farm, where life is slower and days are longer, I parted the pages of “29 Gifts” by Cami Walker and began to read. And cry. And read and cry some more. I cried in gratitude for the gifts that are here and easy to see. And those gifts that, maybe, take a bit more insight to recognize.
Rewind 48 hours to Tuesday morning. 5:15 alarm. Boys up and to the airport by 6:30. Through security by 7:30. Coffee and breakfast burritos done by 8. Arrive at the gate at 8:02. Gate closed, flight missed, dreams of smooth travel dashed. I can’t say exactly what it was that lifted all consciousness of time from our minds that morning. Maybe in spirit we had already arrived on the farm. Maybe we were meant to explore the wonders of LAX that day through the eyes of our boys and drink milkshakes at 9 am (yep, we did). Maybe that plane held moments that were not meant for us.
Whatever the reason, there is one thing I do know for certain. What is meant to be will be. That day I was meant to longingly watch our plane fly away without us. I was meant to sit on the carpet drawing crayon stick figures with the boys. Our noses were always meant to press up against the greenhouse of airport windows as precious bundles of luggage made their way onto plane after plane. I was always and forever meant to snuggle my little ones as we finally lifted off eight hours later than planned.
After a few begrudging hours, it was clear to see that all of these moments were, in fact, part of our greater adventure. Gifts, if you will, that had arrived unsolicited, but were received with gratitude in time.
Today I offer as my gift a reverie of thanks for those who have steered this farm adventure into the annals of family history. Because, really, this is one not to be forgotten; for reasons both sweet and sweeter.
I thank-you, Michelle, for giving me the gift of this book. Thank-you, Aunt Renee, for giving me peace and the farm, white linens and mason jars. Thank-you, my boys, for filling those jars with lightning bugs, and my heart with light every day. Thank-you, Kevin, for being the man that makes us all so safe, all the time. Thank-you ,Tennessee, for your patience and calm. And, thank-you, missed plane, for reminding me that bliss can be found in every step and misstep.