Today, with no fiber fair to attend, the only thing on the agenda was to celebrate Vicki’s 60th birthday. After a stupendous breakfast at the Sugar Beet Restaurant in Fairview that included brown sugar and pecan French toast, we headed to the grocery store for fixings to make a birthday dinner and then, back to Vicki’s. We talked about shopping in downtown Asheville or taking a walk, but once we got home, it was such a gorgeous day that we opted to sit on her front porch and rest. That is not usually something I would chose, having been genetically wired to make the most of a “vacation” and not miss any opportunities to sightsee, but it was just the right choice for today. The temperature was cool enough to need long sleeves, but not so cold to need a jacket. The sky was that deep blue that North Carolinians proudly call “Carolina Blue.” The color of the leaves on the trees is supposed to peak this week and it was as though they were changing before our very eyes. I know it was probably the afternoon sun, but they began to glow as the day wore on until the woods seemed to be on fire with their brilliance. In the distance, the mountains were like an impressionistic painting that swirled like a kaleidoscope with every move of your head. Being the industrious women that we are, there was no napping on the porch swing for us, but each of us practiced a craft while we enjoyed the view. Kristen spun. Vicki knit and gardened while I recorded the experience with my camera. At one point, I worried that they might think I was paparazzi I was so intrusive. But, I couldn’t keep myself from the camera as everywhere I looked there was something beautiful to see. And to hear. I kept track of the sounds. The creak and rhythm of Kristen’s spinning wheel. The click of Vicki’s needles. The jingle of her cat’s bell. A Nuthatch’s chirp and the whir of its wings as it flew between the feeders and the tree. A finch’s scolding when too many of its kind lit onto the net that held their thistle. The wind as it rustled the trees. The scratch of a leaf falling into a pile. The pop of a hickory nut hitting the deck. The gentle melody of a wind chime. In the distance, I heard a cow bellow, a group of motorcyclists make the turns down the mountain road, a dog’s bark, children laughing. While I couldn’t record the sounds with my camera, they are imbedded into my memory. Each breath of wind blew new life into my mind and into my soul. At one point, I almost dozed, but I kept myself awake determined not to miss a moment of an afternoon when everything was perfect and right with the world. I’m just a traveler passing through this life. Today was a glimpse of where I’m bound.
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (NLT)