Survival, Thankfulness and Hope

It’s still dark, just after five a.m., the air is freezing, a biting breeze scours my face as I walk the two miles to the bus stop, and as is often the case my mind wanders to assorted thoughts. This morning I seem to be captivated by a certain theme, thankfulness.

I’m thankful that I am in good enough health to make this trek early each morning and return each night, for a nice cabin to live in, for the warm fire, for my sweet and unbelievably encouraging wife, for my children and grandchildren, for my ancestors, and for my freedom. The list could go on and on I know, I look at the stars in the dark sky and wonder, imagining all that is out there, and yet here am I, down here, with my life and the world all around me.

It’s a quiet morning on the bus, all the University students are off, many of the various workers are off as well, tomorrow being Thanksgiving Day. Our driver Doug is not in his usual “petal to the metal” rush, I hope I make my next connection, normally there’s just a moment to spare.

Last weekend Beau and Ben and also my son Jacob went camping. There was a forecast for snow and we wanted to be in it. We had a great time cooking dinner, and chatting around the fire till late in the night. Just as we were making our way to our beds, snowflakes began to fall, and I was thankful. I love the quiet that comes as the snow begins to fall, a certain peacefulness and calm surrounds us.

I make my last bus transfer that takes me near our shop, not the familiar smiling Evelyn, our normal bus driver, but a holiday substitute, I’ll have to watch more carefully today so I don’t miss my stop, since he doesn’t know my routine.

In the morning as I awoke comfortable in my hammock, I peeked out from under the little canopy overhead, my mind raced, I got a little adrenaline rush as I saw the thick layer of snow on the ground. My feet were cozy in two pair of thick wool socks as I emerged from my little cocoon type sleeping shelter. I put my feet into the soft fresh snow. It felt similar to the days at the beach, my feet in the deep sand. I walked around camp stocking footed, like a kid on Christmas morning, looking at how nature had decorated all around us with the exquisite white snow.

Daylight is just starting to emerge over the snow-capped peaks as the bus climbs the hill that signals entry into the small town where our shop is located. And again I am thankful for a wonderful day, for the possibilities that await.

Beau and Ben had pitched their hammocks under the large PST or tarp, there was snow all about, and bare ground underneath. I walked past their quarters to the edge of the trees, I looked down to the creek, it’s chilly waters tumbling over rocks and winding down the canyon, it’s edges outlined by puffy banks of snow. Looking back towards camp I see the beauty of our tarps and hammocks suspended above the snow.

I pull on the cord to signal the driver that my stop is next. I put away the computer and put on my backpack. As always I exit the bus at the front, telling the driver in my usual way, “thank you, have a great day.” The streets look deserted this morning as the holiday is underway for many. The air has warmed some since I started out from home earlier, I can see the mountains plainly now as I walk the quarter mile to the South edge of town to the shop. It’s a beautiful day, and I am thankful.

I am reminded of a story I read in the paper on Sunday about a group of girls on their way to an activity in Wyoming when their car slid on icy roads, through a guardrail, then plunged 150 feet landing in an icy creek. The vehicle was smashed, some were seriously injured, to ease the tension the girls began to sing a church song titled, “Count Your Many Blessings.” Now who in that circumstance does that? For most people it’s instantly about the serious trouble they are in. Singing that song showed they had hope and though injured, thankful to be alive, and that’s a perfect place to start. For the full story and pictures read here

Survival is about being thankful every day, for without it there is no hope, and without hope there is no survival.” -PDP


Until next time this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival.”


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