The cabin at Current River is the perfect place to put priorities in order.
This is why. It's the view.
It's breathtaking, especially at night when darkness sharpens other senses
and we have just arrived at our retreat.
At night there aren't any city lights or streetlights or headlights, just
a porch light and the moonlight, some starlight and, in the summer, lightning-bug
Crickets and bullfrogs and other night creatures fill every space in the
night with sound in the summer, like a white noise sleep machine, drowning
the more subtle sounds of the current. But on this winter night an eerie
silence reveals the river steadily streaming by below, a river that can
be heard but not seen.
Morning arrives all mist-covered and quiet. Our only neighbor's guinea rooster
evidently is sleeping in. Sunshine later burns the mist away but not the
cold. My hot mug of coffee does little to keep me warm, but I am determined
to greet the river and the day from my favorite spot on the screen porch
The kids go out exploring but not for long. John and his friend Joel, both
9, practice shooting BBs at a target. Cub Scout safety rules from summer
camp somehow emerge fresh in their sharp little minds, easily displacing
any fuzzy remnants of the week's times tables at school. They are soon back
to warm up and get a new target, then they are opening the door again. I
hear the rooster who has awakened and a dog broadcasting news of the weekend's
Soon back for hot chocolate, the boys line up dominoes and push them over,
and play cards using their best Mel Gibson poker face from Maverick, which
they had stayed up late to watch on the VCR the night before.
Annie, 5, is content to line up Barbies and trolls on the hearth like so
many Rockettes and make a Play-Doh picnic for her two Madeline dolls, one
of whom she says is sick. John and Joel ask to use a Barbie for a BB target
but are sent outside with an aluminum can.
Big John traipses in and out and in and out with the boys, and somehow also
manages to nap soundly several times on the couch.
Taking in the view, not just of the river, time stands still. The vignette
will take me through the weeks or even months ahead until I can visit my
retreat again. It will remind me of the things that are important: These
people, this day, this place.