I have a hard time with the scale of this planet. I just have a hard time comprehending how BIG it is. Let me give you an example…
I live about twenty minutes away from Little Cottonwood Canyon here in Utah. That’s the canyon with Snowbird and Alta ski resorts. I stay far away from this place during the winter, however during the spring we drive up and enjoy the world awakening from it’s winter slumber. We often find ourselves by the river that roars down the canyon. The water shoots past, all in a rush, the sound thundering in our ears makes the power of nature evident.
As I stand there I draw two imaginary lines across the river, about three feet apart from each other. In my mind I lift the water out of the river and try to determine how much of it is there, in that three foot by 30 foot surface area. Is there enough to water my lawn? How many 50 gallon drums would it fill? My mind struggles to find a reference point to understand what is passing in front of me. My best guess is generally six fifty gallon drums could be filled by that water in that space.
Then I try to count how many of those go past in a second. Ten? Twenty? I throw a stick in, try to gauge how far it goes in a second. One-mississippi… about twenty feet. So seven of my three foot sections are going by in a second. Roughly 2,100 gallons of water per second is roarling past me in this tiny swollen river in one small canyon in the world.
And it keeps coming. For minutes, hours, days, weeks that torrent comes crashing down the canyon. It never runs out.
Think of that. It. Never. Runs. Out.
It just keeps coming. The world is generating that much water for that length of time… I can’t even wrap my brain around it enough to convey in writing how astounding I find that one fact. It doesn’t run out!
Which finally brings me to Roxanne.
I met Roxanne online about five years ago in a photography forum. She was positive, upbeat, had lots of ideas on… well just about everything. She is a true creative, and has lots of very interesting life experience. We chatted online a lot at first, lately it’s just been now and again. I’ve always counted her as a great online friend.
When I visited Sebastian Florida, Roxanne took it upon herself to be my guide. She introduced me to… well, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Roxanne lives a stones-throw from the highway, two stone-throws from the Indian River, in a beautiful part of the world. She lives in a trailer park, and has taken great care to surround herself with beauty. Gravel pathways lead around handmade bamboo walls to reveal a beautiful garden. We are standing by this garden talking about the plants she treats like kids, when she bends over and picks two or three green bell peppers and turns to me and says “I want you to meet a friend of mine, let’s take some peppers to him”.
We start to walk past the other trailers in the park. She greets a man standing by his RV. By the way she greets him, I think they are old friends. But I soon find out this isn’t the case. The man introduces himself as Chris. He’s a retired advertising exective from Michigan, and he’s a “snowbird” that has just pulled in for the winter. The conversation is warm, Roxanne makes it easy for him to talk about himself. She interjects wisdom about awnings and how mother nature likes to tear them off of RV’s in this park. Chris is sure he can hold on to his awning which is fully deployed. I can tell Roxanne has her doubts about that, but she’s not going to argue the point. She’s shared, but isn’t one to really force her wisdom on others… as we leave she hands one of the peppers to her new friend. He’s delighted to have found acceptance in this new place.
We continue on, knocking on the door of a run-down trailer. A gaunt, pale man with no shirt answers the door. He comes out and shakes my hand, she introduces him as Fred. Fred doesn’t look so well, he’s actually a little shakey as he stands there chatting. Roxanne is completely aware, hands him the remaining peppers and tells him we are on our way. He smiles, he is truly appreciative of the gesture. I get the feeling it’s not so much about the peppers as it is knowing that Roxanne thought about him.
As we walk away Roxanne tells me he lives there alone, and has cancer (the exact form I can’t remember). I’m cut to the core as I think about suffering, fighting a battle for one’s life, alone in a trailer. I’m further amazed at this woman’s ability to give. I can see that it’s much more than the peppers for Fred now.
I spent the better part of four days with Roxanne. She gave me four days! However, I saw that giving is really her thing. Everywhere we went, she would reach out, enabling others to share their lives with her, with us. Leaving a smile with everyone we met. Goodness just flows out of her into the world…
And it keeps coming. For minutes, hours, days, weeks that stream of goodness, kindness, service to others flows from Roxanne. I’m not sure where the source is–but it just keeps flowing. She’s just that kind of girl.
Hard to wrap my head around that fact. I just doesn’t run out.
…………………… oh, and a couple more things ……………………….
Roxanne is a pretty elusive conversationalist. I would ask very pointed questions about her life, trying to find one “story” about her I could tell. But even after the most pointed, direct questions, I would find that in a few minutes I was telling her a story! I would stop, restate the question, only to find in a few minutes she had redirected it again and I was telling yet another story.
She’s a terrific cook. She thinks it’s nothing. But everything she cooked for me was just outstanding.
She told me she thinks this second photo makes her look like a lunatic – to me it’s a photo of her personality bursting out of her as I teased her while I took her picture. What do you think? Fun or lunatic?