Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hoover Dam and the Uncertainty Of Riches

“Since announcement of the construction timetable (to build Hoover Dam), hundreds of jobless men had been streaming into southern Nevada in caravans of wheezing automobiles, in Union Pacific boxcars, on horseback and even on foot…Most of the newcomers were greenhorns—unemployed factory workers, mechanics, salesmen, store clerks, lawyers, bankers and students---who had never performed physical labor or lived outdoors…”---Hoover Dam An American Adventure, by Joseph Stevens

Some seasons are simply paycheck to paycheck. We live in tension between need and want, living and longing. In my case, as of late, longing has given way to dissatisfaction. With discontent creep in goblins of greed whom do their best (and damned good they are) to steal joy and darken day.

I had a dog. For a season I had the Australian shepherd, the big yard and the gas barbeque. I miss the freedom ownership of a house brings. I long for the house, the garden, the storage---the stuff. I compare my stuff to the Joneses stuff. My stuff is older, smaller and less shiny. I get bogged down in the seeking of riches believing my contentment lies therein.

Hot showers and a full fridge are things I take for granted. I overlook the joy that flows out of a Sunday free from work---stretching out on the new couch with a good book and hot cup of Costa Rican. Wind on my cheek and warm sun, orange juice in the morning, buttered biscuits and bacon, the purr of my car engine, and even ‘hellos’ in hallways at work are deep riches to delight in.

I practice delighting deliberately. Sunsets in the desert can be beautiful. I walk outside to view a good one. Days off are spent with a loved one and started with hot coffee in a favorite cup—made more glorious today as cold wind and hard rain assail the neighborhood.

I am learning to enjoy all things. Riches, the prophet tells us, will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. This week I am practicing satisfaction in the riches I already possess. Concurrently I am cultivating friendship with the Joneses in hopes that they’ll let me house sit while they leave town on vacation.

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