Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just down the hill

Irene with her tools for living.
Among the things I am grateful for, and the list is a long and colorful one, is the ability to discern.  Today I am reflecting on those who serve as role models for me; children, women and men who, through their steady living, show me a path.  

Meet Irene, a pioneer with a knack for self-sufficiency.  Widowed since 2008, she can be found most days tending to her acreage or taking brisk walks through our neighborhood sporting the most eclectic ensembles.  Some days she'll make eye contact or return my greeting, but she seems most at home in her own skin and in her own company.

The day before Thanksgiving as I drove past her home, she was working in the yard, festooned in a shocking pink bonnet paired with knee-high work boots.  I pulled over and got out to greet her.  It took very little to get her going about her plans for the holiday.  I was updated on her travels, the goings on of her grandchildren and great-grands, and the ways in which she self-identifies the many blessings of her life. 

Before we parted ways, I confessed my admiration for her and how she inspires me.  There was no need to elaborate; she simply smiled and said thank you. 

There are things we get to choose.  I choose my role models, not so much for what they might offer me, but moreso, for how they navigate their lives.  Through my own discernment, the gift emerges.

Now to get my hands on one of those bonnets!

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