Appreciating Reality

Even in the midst of turbulence and trouble, some days wrap their hours around you in a tender embrace. They remind you that life is, for most of us, tender and gentle. Yesterday was such a day. The few gratifying hours I spent with a friend, over lunch and coffee and conversation, were rewarding, both emotionally and intellectually. Engaging in conversation with a person I genuinely like and in whose presence I feel perfectly at ease is an excellent way to assuage the stresses of home renovation.  Then, last night, my girlfriend and I had dinner at the home of other friends. That same sense of casual relaxation prevailed over an outstanding meal of sous vide coq au vin, followed by conversation on the deck of their lakeside house, as we watched lightning light up the sky and listened to thunder rumble.

As I reflect on other days in recent months, spent with these friends and others, I am grateful that I am fortunate to love and be loved by a small group of people who have become a vitally important element of my life; some of us call this collection of people our “tribe.” And, as I bask in my gratitude for these people, I realize I have begun to regularly write about how important they have become to me. As I told my friend over lunch yesterday, if not for this collection of people who are so important to me, I feel certain I would not have stayed in Hot Springs Village for more than a year or two. But not all of my tribe are here. Two very important friends live in Fort Smith. Others live in Virginia and New Hampshire. Others are in Dallas. Another in Kansas. Others in Tennessee. And my family ranges from California to Texas to Mexico to Ohio. I realize, as I write—again—about my sense of gratitude for this group of people who are so important to me, both their physical presence and their presence in my thoughts keeps me moderately sane. I am fortunate, even while battling what seems like a never-ending renovation; even living with the anxiety about the horrors and wars a world away that could erupt into a global conflagration. Even with concerns about a global pandemic and political tensions and wave upon wave upon wave of stupidity rippling across “civil society,” I am incredibly fortunate.


We will hit the road this morning for a quick trip that I expect will help me shed even more of my tensions. When we come back, the work on the floors of our new house will be nearing completion. We may have arranged to complete some other aspects of our renovation project—selection of the style and  material for the shower enclosure glass, installation of toilets and faucet hardware, adjustments to doors, etc. And spring may have asserted itself even more aggressively than it has already…a day or two can make a big difference in the buds on trees and shrubs. And we might be nearing decisions on which furniture stays and which goes. And on and on. Things change. And we’re changing with them. We react and respond to change and we cause change. Life is like that. Time to shower, shave, and get ready to hit the road.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Appreciating Reality

  1. Meg Koziar I says:

    Nice to read a happy post. Hope today is as well.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.