Reflection. It's something I do, partially because it is who I am but partially because my health status forces it. I have reflected lately more on what I have than what I don't, a rarity for me. See, I'm a godforsaken pessimist. I set out to be as different from my father, may he rest in peace, as I could be with respect to outlook, but life has gotten the better of me more times that I can count. Despite this reality, I can always see the sun peeking from under the thick, burnt volumes of clouds. If I could not, I would have been dead long ago.
In the photo above, an eagle is taking flight (upper right, one o'clock). The pic was taken from the ferry to Bainbridge Island almost a decade ago, before my wife and I moved out here. Speaking of Penelope, she and the American Bald Eagle have a sisterhood. It is powerful. I would advise the curious to question that sisterhood only at their own peril. Like the eagle, my wife soars, and for that I am grateful. When she's not riding the breeze, surveying the landscape, she's swooping in to manage her roost.
To her misfortune, my declining health clouds her roost. I am currently in the midst of yet another challenge. As I bob and weave, I am cognizant of how the beauty of life
- represented here by a seraph who never lets me down and dear friends that appear when most needed - belies the ugliness of my constant and significant physical breakdowns. I am reminded of the Seattle sunset and how blessed I am to have seen so many.
I have had a lot more yesterdays and tomorrows than I deserve.
Despite it all, I celebrate the peace and mystery of this holiday season. And I cherish the one with whom I have ridden the breeze during my more robust days, as well as those friends who, both two and four-legged, extend the kindness and compassion that Jesus of Nazareth and those like him professed.
As a seminary professor said in the vesting room at my graduation so many years ago, "These are great days!"