I am beginning to realize that every chapter of my life is filled with new lessons to learn, new topics to study and new areas to grow in. I like the George Whitman quote “All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.” So I will enter this chapter - another classroom - with humility, gratefulness and curiousity.
Friday, February 15, 2013
I've been reading my history. "Asheville started out a primitive outpost in the 1700's. Frontiersmen such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett traveled through Cherokee country in the early days. Asheville was basically a crossroads of Indian trails on a plateau surrounded by mountains and rivers on all sides." They saw this land as wide-open hunting grounds. Over the next one hundred years the frontiersmen turned to visionaries, builders and poets. "George W. Vanderbilt came to Asheville in the late 1880s and quickly purchased 120,000 acres to build his grand estate. The endeavor took six years and Vanderbilt commissioned renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds and gardens, and celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to help him plan the house." Edwin Grove got rich bringing the pharmaceutical business to Asheville. Thomas Wolfe was born here and wrote a novel that brought attention to the little city. This was a town of promise.
My 104 year-old friend talks about being a young boy and driving a horse-pulled wagon up Biltmore Avenue. Every once in a while, he would have to pull over as a lone, new fangled car would make it's way down the street, frightening the horses. This was a changing city. Over the years, people have looked at this same area of land and seen different perspectives, different obstacles, different possibilities. I got a wonderful view flying out of Asheville last Friday afternoon. Before we disappeared above the clouds I could see miles of forests surrounding areas of buildings and traffic. The French Broad river winding past the beautiful Biltmore House. I could see the hospital and college. And then the quarry near my house. Everything looks so different from the air. A few hours later I was landing in Los Angeles International Airport. Same me. Different place. I needed some new perspectives. One day I am home watching snow fall. A couple days later I'm walking through palm trees, feeling the desert air. One day I am at work, sitting in a log cabin, listening to a hospice patient teach me how to hunt bear. In less then a week I am wandering through the de Young Art Museum in San Francisco studying a Vermeer painting. I ate at The Spaghetti Factory, picked lemons, drove down Hwy 101 and saw family I hadn't seen in a long time. From out there I got to see my life here from a different perspective. And saw clearly what my next learning curve is. It is time to be really happy. To let go of stress, and survival mode, and wanting more. Time to revel in the richness of my blessings. This isn't a new thought. It has been building from several things I am reading. Taisen Deshimaru's simple quote. "If you are not happy here and now, you never will be."
Laura Munson's incredible story. This Is Not The Book You Think It Is.
"Poignant, wise, and often exceedingly funny, this is the moment-by- moment memoir of a woman who decided to let go-in the midst of the emotional equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. It recounts what happened as Munson set out on her spiritual journey-and provides raw, powerful inspiration to anyone searching for peace in an utterly unpredictable world."
Ann Voskamp's dare to "live fully right where you are" in her bestseller One Thousand Gifts.
And David's reminder in Psalms 16:11 "In Your presence is fullness of joy."
Same me. Better views. More gratitude. More happiness.