September 28, 2020
It is still dark outside the window of my office as I sit in the early morning quiet. Although that quiet is broken every few minutes by the huge bull elk bugling to one another in the apple orchard surrounding our little farmhouse. They have battled for dominance throughout the night. I have watched them for days now. I’m fairly certain which bull will prevail. He is much larger than the others. His rack is a six by seven! I am certain he would weigh near one-thousand pounds. If he survives, he will undoubtedly become the herd bull. The other males while impressive, just do not seem to be able to match his size, strength, or even his bugle, which is fierce. His offspring to be born next spring will certainly have genetics that assure their survival. The fire in my wood burning stove crackles. My coffee cup sends up little clouds of steam. His call echoes up the canyon. I am in awe at how this day has begun.
It is now early fall in the mountains of New Mexico. It’s cold outside 33 degrees. The first heavy frost will happen as the sun sets tonight. I think of a few chores that must be taken care of today; winterizing hoses and faucets, placing heaters in the animal drinkers, winterize the equipment engines. The rhythm of the seasons is reassuring on many levels. It is in fact 2020. A very strange year indeed.
My first novel is out there. Released on the world wide web last week. Amazon, Barns & Noble, and others track every click. Sales are good considering, (again it is 2020). Reviews are trickling in. They are all very positive. It is exciting, and terrifying at the same time. I read yet another article about how to market books during a worldwide pandemic. Traditionally I would hit the road for a book signing tour. Those days are over for now. Libraries across the country including my own are shuttered. Meetings of any size are not allowed…in our once free country. I am grateful for the few venues the marketing folks have been able to secure. Those sites have outdoor meeting areas. Several weekend dates are set. This should be great fun. I hope to see some of you there.
In the back of my mind the struggle to survive that is going on with the elk herd outside my window...reminds me of us, and our struggle to adapt. How to run our businesses, how to manage our families, schools, even our cities, and towns. So much is changing. Yet outside in the semi-darkness life goes on. Creation is a stark reminder that all is in order. The sun is lightening the eastern sky; a few of the apple trees are beginning to show a pale golden color. The wind stirs. I step outside and can smell the malting leaves and wood smoke, the scents of fall are in the air. The cow elk follow the herd bull across the orchard mewing to one another and their calves.
No matter where you are this morning you should be able to spot the waxing moon hanging in the western sky. I am reminded by the Spirit that all creation declares the glory of God. I worship. I whisper a few prayers. I am in awe of the creation and the perfection of the design, the seasons, the gift of Earth itself… granted to us by the Creator. I feel small as I glance at the fading stars, planets, and galaxies. “Who am I that you would care for me”?
Life is such a blessing. Wherever you are I pray that you may have moments like this in your day. That you can know you are loved and cared for. That you have purpose. I speak aloud the words again that one of my characters David J. Ross has said, “We are not an accident”.
I will go about my day today knowing this truth... and being known.
Steven G. Hightower