I’m sitting on an eastbound Westjet airplane gracefully gliding over the mountains and prairies of Canada, so this will be the first blog post I’ve published with no photos. In their place I’ll try to be a tiny bit more descriptive and make the words become my pictures.

Sitting along the aisle in the back of this 737 jet, I’m taking in the ballet of the 3 flight attendants, women doing their synchronized pliés, dipping and swaying, their arms in unison with soft drinks first, cookie packages next. Yes, there are free cookies on this flight!

But let me move on …

I hate it but I love it … fall … or autumn if you prefer.

There is a melancholy richness and beauty to the days of September in the northern hemisphere. The scent in the air is a rich blend of flavours not unlike dipping your nose into a curved crystal glass that holds a quality wine hinting of citrus and vanilla and blackberry.

Only, in my area of western Canada, the aroma wafting in the air tends more to ripened red Spartan apples, long Ponderosa pine needles, and juicy Gewurtztraminer grapes maturing on vines strung up the rising umber hillsides of the Okanagan Valley.

My mixture of thoughts teeters back and forth between delight in the cool, crisp air and the sorry fact the night air is passing darkly into my home at ever earlier moments each day passing.

And too, for a man, there’s a certain sadness that arises from the sight of skirt hemlines drifting longer bit-by-bit in opposing contrast to the days growing shorter — the halter tops and the floral-festooned bikinis are slipped back into dresser drawers, while sandaled toes go underground into closed-toed pumps and running shoes. So sad.

September strikes like a true New Year as our focus changes from smoky summer BBQ’s and beach visits and fresh greek salads made from garden-ripened tomatoes and cucumbers, to a more business-like, serious back-to-reality scene. Work, school, meeting, study, a refreshed mindset takes hold.

When I awake in the morning, I usually swear a little under my breath about the surrounding darkness that was filled with bright orange sunlight just 6 weeks earlier.

I turn my ear to the morning news on CBC radio, although I’m not really listening. It’s all a part of the process needed that takes me 10 or 15 minutes before I can convince myself to get up and start to approach the day ahead.

I go through the mental self-talk checklist about what a great day it will be and the the fun I’ll have at spin class or interacting with my co-workers. I really need a life coach sitting at the end of my bed jumping up and down with pom poms to convince me that I shouldn’t just roll over and close my eyes. GIVE me an “L” …

But life is about far more than the routines of waking up, then getting up and meandering through our days, sipping on a sugar-saturated Starbucks pumpkin latte.

Life in today’s world is filled with miracles, and not, for me at least, of the religious kind sung so passionately about by Motel, the tailor, in Fiddler on the Roof.

As the cool September air ushers in a “new year”, I have a stream of consciousness floating through my head as I drift high above the clouds sipping clamato juice from the little plastic cup on my seat tray.

We live in a world of miracles.

Today, I want to tell you about just a couple of miracles in my life.

1. I’m flying like a bird thousands of metres above the hard ground below at speeds faster than any bird has ever flown — and I’m eating cookies and watching a 30 million dollar movie on the back of the seat in front of me. This is costing me about two days of my employment earnings. That’s a miracle.

2. My wife makes me a peanut butter and banana sandwich for my lunch every day that I go to work, and she still often laughs at my stupid sense of humour. That is a miracle too.

3. I’ll be driving a car from Ontario to Tennessee this week. As I motor along, a lovely lady’s voice on a little machine on the dashboard will stay awake the entire way patiently giving me directions for every step on the route. If I falter, she won’t yell at me and call me stupid. Just, “at your first opportunity, make a legal U-turn”. She’s great and a true miracle.

4. My children and I have never ever lived our lives worrying about troops marching through our town. Not once in my lifetime have I fretted that my son or daughter will be called up for a military campaign, unlike the sons and daughters of the graves of American Civil War veterans I’ll be visiting in just a few days.Yup, a miracle.

5. I’ll be sitting in the Grand Ole Opry auditorium in Nashville in a few days. Tickets for the 6 famous-performer-show were purchased in 5 minutes on the computer I type on now, and printed in my home office 3,000 kilometres away from Tennessee. Miracle!

6. Yesterday morning, I drove past an idyllic set of fields and pastures growing sweet corn as high as an elephant’s eye, on the other side of the road I spotted meandering, silently munching, black and white Holstein milk cows. In my mind, I could convince myself that I was living in the bucolic and simple world of 150 years ago. I can have the best of 2 worlds in a 5 minute span. Just one more miracle.

Our lives can be lived in a vacuum of vacuuming and grocery shopping.

The lottery of life can be a tapestry of richness and experience, the wonder of humanity so much greater than the pursuit-of-sugar or nectar-life of the ant or bee. And it doesn’t require a plethora of activity or frenetic pursuit of experience.

Often, it just means opening our ears to the sound of the voices surrounding us, the observation of wind rustling the leaves of a red maple tree, or the scent of cinnamon-oatmeal cookies baking in a hot oven.

Life can be so complex, but when we slow down, it can also be so miraculously simple.

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