A few weeks ago (or maybe less), a friend and I drove into the country to visit an organic goat farm during their open house. It was hot and the sun shone too bright as it bounced blazes off of melting highway. But this sweet friend and I were overdue for adventure and our destination was Piccalilli Farm, which was offering a free romp in the kiddie pool with the resident pup, the best ricotta cheese I’ve ever eaten and adventures of a new sort. Food. Out-of-doors. Water play with a soggy pup? Count me in. Though I was tired, it was the right time to welcome good things.
And so we drove over the swollen Kansas river, past the Konza Prairie, across I-70 and into the Flint Hills.
I would have missed so much had I allowed heat and weariness to keep me sprawled on the couch with social media.
Instead of scrolling through extreme skiing videos (yes.), my friend Trish and I met goats, wandered fields and into meadows on freshly-mown trails. We ate mint-goat-cream ice cream, ran into friends, laughed, sweated like iced lemonade in hot hands and sampled a savory breakfast pie that needs to be experienced to be believed. Trust me about this crusty subtle savory goodness.
After retreating to the shade and AC of the new car (I’ve been referring to it as “Q”), we weren’t ready to quit adventuring so I hung a left instead of a right. We swerved and bumped along Kansas country roads, past the former “Mayes’ ranch” and farmer Al’s silo, past the stream the kids and I played in years ago when we called it a vacation, and along the roads where Katie and I and Dave and I once trained for races.
My favorite hills to run – especially Old Simpson Road – are home to low water crossings, vistas of green and blue and gravel that pass by cows, electrical substations, homes both old-old and very new, and a few farm dogs (none of whom I saw on this hot day).
As we rounded the old longer running loop back toward farmer Al’s silo, our conversation wove in ALL OF THE THINGS. In the bumpety bump of Q’s crashing about gravel roads, I heard a tiny thought breeze by my ear. It was so light and wispy that I almost missed it.
“Welcome good things.”
Context: I’ve been scrambling through a dry inner season since Father’s Day by reminding myself to “expect good things,” but welcoming them suggests an entirely different posture. It’s the difference between scanning the horizon for what is expected, desired and/or “deserved” and meeting what comes with a hope that does not deny wisdom nor squash yet-seen opportunity.
Welcome good things.
What would happen if we welcomed the good before us rather than expected a good or many goods to come our way? Welcoming does not indicate entitlement, but neighborliness and community. Humility and an open-heartedness.
And doesn’t one good welcome often lead to another?
To think I would have missed it had I remained sprawled on the cool couch in the sunny room of my attic apartment. I would have missed time with Trish, the tasty bits, a sweet pup, a little girl with tiny pigtails and galoshes who served as part-time hostess, that delish breakfast pie, rememberings along once-familiar trails, and all of the photos I took of grasses swaying in the hot south wind, bugs that looked painted in gouache, a very old barbed wire fence hung with skulls and protecting a falling down limestone barn. In the sun of that Sunday, we had unwittingly carved time to refresh, reflect and be restored a bit.
We often are so weary by the challenges, we hesitate to welcome the good things.
Let’s try though, eh? Give welcoming good things a shot rather than expecting good things. We can even practice sticking around to see what’s good and what’s not. Perhaps this requires some #derringdo. We’ve got it. Lots of it.
What say you?
I am interested in what you welcome into your good life. Let me know if you fancy an audience for your good fortune.