Down in the Valley

michelle-in-front-of-yonahDown in the valley, the wind is carrying the truth with it.  Down in the valley, tragedy and triumph are intertwined like poison ivy on a mighty oak.  Down in the valley, surrounded by glorious color and golden sun, the seasons change. The steadfast mountains remind us that we are but temporary residents, and that they are the long term occupants of the valley.  The momentum of the breeze flows around the foothills.  The circular flow of life is evident, down in the valley.

Two days.  Two celebrations. Cobalt blue sky, white fluffy clouds, foliage of yellow and orange.  White chairs.  Flowers.  Friends.  Family.

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Tragedy forces a celebration of a life lived.  An orchard, bearing the name of its planter, waves as the wind blows the small trees.  They are stretching their arms skyward, as if reaching for him.  The young man will no longer walk among them, but will instead, look down from his place of peace.  On this day the adventurer is celebrated with perfectly spoken words, tears, and heartfelt songs.  Mountains surround those that grieve with an embrace of comfort, in this place he loved so much.  Balloons dance in the current as the grief is released upwards.  Memories are shared in fellowship and laughter around feasting tables and with slides of a life cut short.  Flames lick the night sky with sparks flying high in a familiar tradition on this piece of land, until they burn themselves out and silence floats like ashes to the ground.

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Twenty-four hours pass and romance arrives in the valley.  Another celebration of love in a different form.  Bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed in finery line up to share the whispers of the wind. Friends and family gather on the lawn waiting for love to make its entrance. Breathing in the beauty of the bride, the groom is overwhelmed to tears.  The same mountains that grieved yesterday, caress the tender moment of love’s kiss.  The trees sway to the rhythm of the music played and sung.  Fellowship and laughter around feasting tables and pictures of lives just starting out. Cake is cut. Traditions ensue, until the car disappears down the winding road to new beginnings.

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Two days.  Two very different moments in time.  Down in the valley, all nature bears witness to the ebbs and flows of life. Down in the valley, tears represent both life and death. They are reminders that life is precious and that it must be celebrated…down in the valley.

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