Peace in the Valley at Grandad's Apples

I am at peace sitting in a rocking chair at Grandad’s Apples in Hendersonville, NC. The view is magnificent. I just finished eating a warm piece of apple pie, and I am sipping hot apple cider. An apple orchard is to my left. Pumpkins, a children’s play area, and a corn maze are all to my right. The sky is blue with fluffy white clouds that seem to meet the mountaintops in the distance, and the temperature is perfect. This is nice and is just what I needed today!

I have been in a bit of a funk since Sunday morning’s trigger, a minor one, a memory of my wife, Sue, and I walking up a stairway together at church. Triggers, even a minor one, can change the atmosphere in a way that can dominate one’s thoughts for a few seconds, or in this case, a few days. Triggers come and go as they please, unannounced and uninvited.

Earlier today, I received word that a friend’s father had died. His death was expected and even welcome to a degree. His suffering is over and there is rejoicing in Heaven. So why did I tear up over the death of someone I have never met? His death was just one more reminder that life is short and sometimes brings unimaginable hurts that never fully heal.

As perfect as this moment seems, this to will pass away. The leaves will fall. The corn will be harvested. The crowds will leave, and the temperature will turn cold. Nothing ever stays the same, but I will soon be enjoying hot chocolate, a blanket, a good book, and more memories made with family and friends. Life is what we make it, but even more so, life is what we do with it whether the times are good or sad.

Memories can light the corners of our minds, and we can enjoy a short drive down memory lane. Choosing to be thankful, every day has the promise of a beauty all its own. Today, I am enjoying the beauty all around me, being thankful for the life God has given me and thankful that he let me share it with Sue, my mother, and many other family and friends who are now gone.

Life feels good in this moment. How can it not be with a piece of warm apple pie, hot cider, perfect weather, and a wonderful view? We are blessed, even when circumstances make us feel otherwise.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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