There’s a perplexing sight along the QEW (highway) between Toronto and Niagara Falls that has fascinated me for years.
It seems a little out of place, don’t you think? Especially when you consider that a major highway runs just meters from the unusual sight.
For the first time, my mom and I pulled off the road today to take a closer look at this grounded ship on the shores of Lake Ontario. And what we saw (all burnt wood and rusted metal) was somehow mesmerizing.
And then it was on to the quaint and historical village of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The tiny boutiques, the luxury hotels and the gorgeous floral arrangements everywhere were a sight to behold! And the sundried-tomato-and-chevre-quiche we had for lunch was to die for!
We ended the day in a Days Inn in Rochester, New York, after a lovely meal at Applebee’s. The motel is slightly past its prime (ya think?) but it boasts of clean sheets and an air conditioner that runs beautifully on the “full blast” setting.
(Photo is a slight exaggeration…)
Since the beginning of this summer, I’ve heard one sentence repeated frequently by the nameless person I shall refer to as “The Woman Who Gave Me Birth.” More often than not, my effusions of excitement are greeted by a slightly bemused, “It takes so little to keep you happy!” And–I must admit–there’s truth to the statement. Rusty ships, decadent quiche, hotels I’ll never be able to afford that are so beautiful to look at, birds that sound like cell phones ringing and toads that sound like out-of-tune banjos, Applebee’s Buffalo wings and smiley tollbooth operators, emails from long-lost students (thanks, Magster!) and mist covering the water and the beach… It does take so very little.
I am SO grateful for the gift of easy enchantment. It is the salve that heals anxiety and strain. It is the balm that soothes disappointment and despair. It is the transcendent simplicity that allows for contentment in the face of life’s great crises. It has gotten me through the worst life has thrown at me–especially when God seemed as distant as the rescue I so craved. If I could find levity in the smallest of nonsensical sights, sounds, and occurrences, I could kinda, sorta, maybe hope for some small brightening in my future.
My point? Seek reasons to celebrate. There may not be rusted ships and misty lakes where you live, but listen for barely perceptible sounds that thrill you and sights that enthrall you. Make note of the minute kindnesses of strangers and the serendipitous occurrences that lend a ray of unexpectedness to days that might otherwise seem nondescript. Decide to be thrilled, commit to acknowledging the “winks” that come our way in the most unexpected places. There’s a biblical rationale for it too! “Finally, brothers (which is a biblical term for “Beloved Morons), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”…and celebrate! (Phil. 4:8)
And now it’s off to the south. There’ll be plenty to celebrate along the way. Hours of driving entertainment listening to Rush Limbaugh’s rants…
…careful navigating on the highways and byways of this beautiful country…
…and the wonderful hospitality and humble abodes of our Southern Friends.
And yes–I’ll be clapping my hands and cheering for the most ridiculous things along the way, sometimes to the head shaking and eye-rolling of The Woman Who Gave Me Birth!