It was the kind night you live for.
As the moon crested over the horizon of trees we took a moment to appreciate the last blue moon for over a year.
Unaware of the moonstreams shining down on us as we gazed in appreciation of the grace that is the world around us we dined on gifts gladly given in tune with the beliefs of others.
Our thirst quenched by the conversation we also delighted in wines offered as a taste of a different culture from the origins of wine as well as the wine maker himself.
It was observing these friends, old and new, tasting mead I had watched in creation that I only barely began to understand the crafter’s love for their art.
Having recently decided that acoustic music was going to be a part of my future although I have no intentions of playing, I was grateful one of the guests spent part of the evening sharing his talent and history.
Our history and the people who lead us to each point in life is a unique blessing. It is part of what leads us to the decisions that we make.
My decision to have a specific type of music in my life is born of my personal history. The very best years of my life my dad played an acoustic 12-string guitar. I learned to sing to that on the back porch of my grandparents’ house overlooking a garden that we ate off of all summer long.
I cannot bring back that time but I can bring back what I enjoy those experiences.
However life doesn’t always give you the opportunity to do exactly what you want when you want.
That’s why this morning when I saw a post from a friend I realized more people need to be reminded of the opportunity they have.
This morning my friend got to wake up on vacation. It is not just a trip to go do specific things and see specific people with other folks kind of vacation.
She gets to travel alone with no set agenda.
This morning when she woke up she did not have to consider what someone else wanted to do today. If she wanted to lay in bed all day and sleep, that was possible. If she wanted to rush around trying to fit in every tourist attraction that was also possible.
She could read a book or better yet a local newspaper.
The only necessity was that she get to her next stop in a couple of days. As long as she arrives at her destinations and stays safe in between no one expects anything of her.
Not a lot of people have had that kind of freedom.
She had to work hard to have that kind of liberty. She’s had to push through migraine headaches and great losses. It’s been a long time coming and I daresay she’s not experienced the kind of freedom she will have on this trip.
I had forgotten what that was like until I saw her post this morning.
Nearly 30 years ago I got the opportunity to drive between Ohio and California by myself.
Each morning when I woke up I had the opportunity to do exactly what I wanted to do.
The truth of it was that I didn’t necessarily have to get to my proposed destination. No one was truly dependent on the decisions that I made at that time.
At any moment I could have chosen to take a different road.
Being on the road like that gives you the opportunity to really think and by the end of that first trip I had begun to realize that it’s important to appreciate the moment that we are in.
As I watched the moon pass over a table full of thoughtful food, invested drinks and fulfilling conversation by the warmth of the fire I had a glimpse of longing to share it with that particular someone.
Those kind of moments have power to change everything and in a way it did.
I could have taken a road of sadness and longing and wishing for something that can never be but I chose to take a road appreciating something even greater.
In acknowledging that second of sadness I was able to increase my pleasure of the company I was in. Instead of missing intimacy with one person I had a handful of connections that I could see enhancing my life in a variety of very different ways.
We don’t have to be on vacation to wake up and appreciate the liberty we have to choose the road our life will take. Any single moment is a chance to exercise the freedom of gratitude and choice whether it be sitting with friends at dinner under a full moon, or waking up for work in the morning.
Each moment we breathe is an opportunity.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.