The Best Is Yet to Come

by Bruce Cleverley

The Best is yet to come

The old man watched silently out the window as the snowflakes fell. The swirling snow mesmerizing him it seemed, to a time and place, that now seemed to have been only yesterday, but in reality was more than a half century ago.

In the years since his childhood so many things around him had changed, many changed for the better and some for the worst. But change they did. It didnt seem to snow as much or as deep as it did when he was a child. The stories he told of snow to the tops of houses and telephone poles, brought smiles from disbelieving children. The sixty below cold winter snaps in northern Montana, when the winds then kicked in and the wind chill dropped to minus one hundred and twenty. These were laughed off as impossible and just the imagination of an old timer longing for the younger times of his life again.

As his one and only sweetheart of his life wrapped the presents they had bought for the children and grandchildren. He watched her, and smiled to himself. Once they were so young and full of energy, with dreams of a full and rewarding life ahead. He thought how much the snow flakes were like his own life, each one different as each day had been, but each was the same as the one next to it in other ways. As they fell, one after another slowly, they began to cover the grass and the evergreens with their thick blanket of white. Just as the snow had turned changed the scenery to white Mother Nature had also turned his hair white as well as that of his wife.

Each snowflake as it joined became as one, and as they fell, they passed by like the days, weeks, and years had passed. Some when caught by the wind came hard, and others landed lightly, just barely seeming to touch the ground, and blending in peacefully with its neighbor

A great gust of wind blew and the snow rolled off of the roof in large flakes, taking him once again back into his childhood days. Deep snow, being blown across large pastures and corrals, cattle and horses huddled up together in the lee side of the loafing shed in the straw that had been forked in to help fight off the cold. Flashed its picture in his mind

He watched the buckskin mare shake off the snow, and stamp her feet to warm them against the cold, and then cross the corral and take a long drink from the trough. Why he wondered did he become so wistful and dream of those days now? What was it that made him yearn for those simple times again?

It was not because they were all easy days. There were many hard times, filled with struggle and, as many tears, as there were snowflakes on the ground. To be fair there were many fun filled times when laughter filled the air in their small home. The lord had truly blessed him and his wife with three fine boys to raise. They also had the twins, which had blessed their life for a few short days before the lord called them back home. The three remaining boys had filled their life with joy and had brought much pleasure to them

It was also true there were days of trials and sorrow with each of them, but although they each had different struggles in life they were going through, they were good men. Sons he was proud of, and sons that he loved deeply, more than life itself.

It was not always a pleasant experience to try and teach them the lessons of life, many times he did so knowing that they would not understand, and that they might distance themselves from him out of anger or hurt feelings. It made his heart ache with pain

So why he asked himself again, were those days longed for? What made them so special that they appealed to him decades later?

The aching of his weathered hands, caused him to rub them, they hurt now because of the blood clots in them, just as his legs and arms did from time to time. As he looked at them he noticed the lines the years had engraved upon them. The calluses and scars, which he bore from a life of work, were like trophies to him. They spoke of honest effort and of learning and knowledge gained only by working with his hands and heart to build for the future of his family.

As he looked once again out the window, it seemed the snow had ceased, to fall. The wintry scene in front of him with the horses, haystacks, tractors and the barns, spoke back with only the whispering of the wind, as they touched them. Simple, quiet and peaceful, Those were simple times, where for the most part, if you worked hard you were rewarded for your honest efforts.

Maybe that was it. Maybe it was not the time or the place that was so appealing, maybe it was simply the wish for the opportunities and experiences that were to come. Having accomplished something that was worthwhile, not just for yourself but for others as well.

Was it as simple as the need to give service or work for something, or someone? Those times had taught him about who he was and what he might be able to become if he tried hard enough. The toil the struggle, it all made him who he was, and for bad or worse, what he was.

Those times were cherished because of the strengths gained from enduring them. The memories were important because they spoke of accomplishment, of victory in the face of adversity.

These were things he could still teach his children, and his grandchildren. He could make a difference in their life for good. He could show them his love. He would walk with them through their trials and the storms ahead, and enjoy the sunshine when it came.

As If by cue, the snow began to fall again, even harder, with larger flakes than ever before. Yes he thought, to go on, to try, not to give up, he would do better tomorrow than he did yesterday. There were many flakes now, just as there would be many days ahead.

The Old man smiled, the best was yet to come.

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