I am out of my element. What is my element? There was once a time when I would dance with celebration for the degree of luxury I am experiencing in this ski resort and hope to keep it tight in my fist. On the one hand it is fun to be pampered so I enjoy it with giddy appreciation. But on the other hand I have lost the loving feeling for the things money can buy. (However, money from my honey bought my horse, and that’s as close to buying happiness as I can imagine.) Where I am now in life, it is nice to be able to enjoy and not desire more. Contentment is like the most comfortable chair in the heart and sinking into it is compulsory. To answer my own question, I believe the contentment chair is my element.
At the fitness center here the instructor brought a spin bike outside to the veranda for me so I could ride with the fresh air and the mountain view. The altitude is over eight thousand feet, and my lungs could feel it as I tried to achieve some moderate pedaling. I gasped for oxygen that wasn’t in the air. I flipped through a fitness magazine and saw a photo of a 93 year old yoga instructor. She said “I wake up every morning and think this is going to be the best day of my life.” I smiled from the inside out with this thought. I have a similar feeling each morning, though I have never proclaimed it to my consciousness.
I can wake up in luxury with mountain views, a fire going, coffee delivered to our room on a tray and be as content as when I sleep on a foam mattress on the floor under a mosquito net with the sounds of fourteen children rising to prepare for school. Do I sleep better in a mud hut than in a mansion? I don’t know, but I can do both easily. Wherever I find myself opening my eyes at dawn I feel the truth that it will be “the best day of my life.” That’s all I need to know.
A prayer walk through the mountain woods has been the highlight so far for me here in Utah. Second would be the scenery as we drove through the mountains to go see the Mormon tabernacle. I have also enjoyed getting to know colleagues of Craig’s at work. When I close my eyes and think about this getaway time in Utah I will see the mountains changing shape with light and shadow, the yellow leaves of the slender white aspen floating into the wind whispering, “winter is upon us”. I will remember the moment when the wind gushed with a loud voice and the tree tops were hands clapping to applause the change of season. I believe if they could say it with words they would admit loneliness and anticipation for the skiers to return.
This morning as the light frosts the mountain tops I will pull on my hiking shoes and have one more enjoyable jaunt through the woods to enjoy autumn’s decline. I can only hope I will encounter a moose. If that happens, there will be photos to share. I am going fly fishing with the group today. This is a new adventure and I’ve made a big fuss about catching the biggest trout, which means I have postured myself for harassment at dinner tonight after nothing touches my hook. No matter how this day unfolds I know it is going to be “the best day of my life.” I can only hope if I make it to 93 I will open my eyes anywhere on earth I find myself and have the same thought.