Paradise

Once upon a time, somebody loved this house.

They lived here, worked here, played here. They cooked meals in the kitchen, slept upstairs in the bedroom, hosted family events in the living room.

And when they looked out the front window, they saw miles and miles and miles of unspoiled beauty. Acres of green pasture dotted only by trees, windmills, and cows. Blue sky surrounding them like a blanket of love.

windmill

I hope they knew how lucky they were.

I went to Colorado again this weekend to celebrate Easter with some good friends. Our hosts, Hank and Miranda, live on a sprawling cattle ranch in the middle of some of the most breathtaking country I have ever seen.

On Saturday morning, I was invited to help feed the cows.

I was surrounded by beauty and history wherever I looked.

Old cars waited to be admired or found alternate employment as erosion control.

Barns full of hay and sunlight whispered to me, telling me stories a hundred years in the making. I whispered back, running my hand over the wooden walls, worn smooth by a century’s worth of leather-gloved hands.

barn

I watched a red-tailed hawk wing its way effortlessly across the wide expanse of blue above my head and felt a pang of jealousy–but only slightly. I was happy to be where I was, and no wings were required for me to feel free.

Riding

It was impossible not to notice the difference between my day in the pastures and the time spent in the city the day before. I never find myself pining for the “life” of the city. I do not miss the crowds or the traffic or the sensory overload. I delight in silence–but mine is hardly worth the name either, for here, the air is full of sounds. Without all of the city’s discordance, you can hear the wind in the trees and grass. The meadowlark, the sparrow, the hawk all speak to those who listen. The air throbs with the humming of insects–a sound heard more by the softness of your palms and the soles of your feet than by your ears.

There are other things to be heard here, too. Spiritual things. Answers to prayers you didn’t even know you had in your heart. Peaceful affirmations that God is real and that He created the world to bring us joy.

When he saw me taking pictures of the derelict house, Hank asked me if I was ready to move in. I quickly, emphatically agreed. Charlotte joked about getting to work fixing the place up, but I just laughed. Fix it up? It’s perfect.

The holes in the roof just help you see the stars better.

Originally published on the first iteration of this blog, jestkeptsecret.blogspot.com. To read more old posts, visit the JKS Archives.

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