This summer, by early August, the fires in Northern California were in full swing. At that point, we had no idea how close and how bad it would get around our little cabin at Echo Lakes, but we were already dealing with low air quality and smokey conditions most days.
We had invited my childhood friend, Deb Berecz and her husband, John, to visit and it was their first time to Echo. The two or three days prior to their arrival we had some of the clearest air we’d had all summer, and the closer it got, the more excited I was to show them all of our secret places, special hikes, and stunning vistas. A big part of the beauty is our view of Freel Peak, Christmas Valley, and off in the distance, Lake Tahoe, from the cabin porch. Its where we enjoy our coffee in the morning, sandwiches and sparkling water for lunch, and cocktails in the evenings. I just couldn’t wait to experience it all with my best friend.
But wouldn’t you know it, the morning they were due to arrive, we woke up to terrible smoke and very low visibility. I wanted to cry. From the moment they arrived, all I could talk about was what they couldn’t see, what they couldn’t smell, and what we couldn’t do because of the smoke.
Finally, my friend stopped me and said something very important. They didn’t know what they couldn’t see. But there was a lot they could see, and they found it beautiful—giant firs and pines; the charming, historic cabin; clear blue water in the lake; hummingbirds buzzing right by our heads; squawking Stellar Jays; and pinecones the size of Michael Jordan’s foot. In my disappointment of what they could not see, I was robbing them of the enjoyment of what they could. And so, on my friend’s prompting, I stopped.
As I thought back about it, I was reminded of one of the new songs on Jason Mraz’s newest album, “Be Where Your Feet Are.” In it, he says, “If you’re lost, relax and be where your feet are.” This week don’t let past regrets and future worries rob you, and everyone else around you, of the magnificence right where your feet are.
“If you’re lost, relax and be where your feet are.”
~ Jason Mraz