Distractions of mammoth proportions plague our every day lives. The constant running to and fro becomes a vicious cycle, only to be mindlessly repeated day-in and day-out. Then life throws you a whopper, a zinger of sorts, waking you up from a long winters nap.
There's so much that you miss while you're sleeping. The yellow leaves of a 50-year old cottonwood tree blow effortlessly in the wind. A family of pheasants gather under a rusted-out flatbed truck, enjoying a shady reprieve from the warm desert sun. The weathered swing on the front porch has long since lost its youth, yet the memory of conversations that took place there are etched in our thoughts forever.
While you were sleeping, I gazed upon your worldly treasures. You've spent a lifetime lining every corner of your 10-acre yard with what I thought was junk. But today, I see things differently. These are your prized possessions, a generation of one man's treasures to be preserved and cherished. You meticulously cared for every inch of this place, so you could pass a valuable inheritance on to your children and grand-children.
While I was sleeping, you offered a generous smile and a kind word to strangers. You took in more homeless people than I could possibly count. And when others littered your 300 ft driveway with old couches and washing machines, you took them in too. You saw potential in everything. You were frugal and resourceful and you allowed nothing to go to waste. Even the stale bread in your kitchen was offered to the birds as a happy meal.
In the blink of an eye, we were awakened to our senses. You heard a familiar sound of a semi-truck at your gate, and you went to greet the stranger. As I waited for your return, I wondered how many more moments I would have left with you. When you zipped around the corner with a huge smile, I proudly wiped my tears. Then, almost simultaneously, we both noticed a squirrel in the dog's bowl, quietly enjoying the leftovers. We laughed out loud. Even the squirrel instinctively knew that nothing should be wasted in this moment ;-)
While You Were Sleeping - Mel Peterson
Lovingly dedicated to my Dad who has Alzheimers