About Angel: Angel Williams is the manager at the Foundation's Columbia Gorge gift store, Spruce Gifts & Provisions. Angel has been an integral part of the Foundation's staff for over twenty years.
Clearly we are all under a lot of pressure right now. Each of us is dealing with challenges, fears, and insecurities about our health, our jobs, and that of our friends and neighbors. There is a lot to be concerned with, certainly.
As I was on my way to work this morning, mind circling around those troubles, I saw my eagle. I say mine because he is a frequent visitor at the hatchery, sometimes landing in the Sequoia right outside the shop's front door. Just like my raven who likes to peck at his own image in our back door, these birds have become part of my work-time joy.
Anyway, my eagle was soaring above the freeway, gliding just in front of my car for quite a while. I can’t say what exactly changed for me, in those moments he and I shared, but as we parted I was filled again with a sense of wonder. My mind was no longer dwelling on worries and anxieties. Instead I noticed the budding trees, the white crested river, and the brilliant blue of the sky. While I noted the brown topped trees - scarred from our recent fire, I also noted the amazing greening below them - a riot of new growth.
Driving through the hatchery's path my gaze wandered, noticing the tiny white sparkle of daisies in the lawn, the wind, gentle for once, danced in the rhodies. Alongside the shop, I could see the lavender just beginning to show a bit of purple, and our Bigfoot statue is still standing tall to greet every visitor. I was a little early and took a few minutes to make a cup of fragrant Earl Grey before sitting down to work through my tasks finishing a crisp apple as I did so.
And then I realized how glad I am not just for the fact that I still have an income, but for these very tasks. These little things that I can focus on, that keep me feeling productive and alive, are so very important to me. But then, yesterday I took the afternoon off - did I do anything important? I cleaned my closet. I did some gardening. I played a game. I chatted with my mother in law, and took a long walk with my husband and our aging Great Dane, Dexter. I opened my mailbox to find a dear friend had made some face masks just for me. I waved at the neighbor kids playing in the cul-de-sac. I talked with my coworkers, and decided we should start a Bonneville Book Club. I worked on a poem. I read a book. I took a nap.
Every one of these seems fairly inconsequential to my normal life. But today I realize what an enormous impact these small things have. And each of these were things I hadn’t valued. In the past I have focused on my to-do list, and never ever felt like I was accomplishing anything.
So as we get through this struggle, together, I just want to raise a long distance toast to the blessings. To the joy we can find in the things we never take the time to notice, much less value. To the love I feel, for and from, each of you. To the little things.
Be well, my dear friends.