Miles and Miles..

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On the first day of 2022, I walked 5.7 miles, climbing more than 1,000 feet of elevation.  I wasn’t really winded, because this marks about a year of brisk-walking every day.  Over the course of this morning’s journey, I encountered a young one-point buck and his doe.  The deer have become so plentiful I sense they are making a truce with us.  It’s almost as if they are asking, “do we really have to leave?” to which I say, “no, of course not, but I’m still walking your direction.”  And so they eventually scatter, but their departure is majestic. They leap into the oak groves, bounding easily up a hill as though they could fly, but simply choosing not to.  (Thinking about this just now, there’s a reason Santa Claus mythology includes flying reindeer.  If you’ve seen these creatures, it makes sense.  They actually do become airborne.)

To finish off my walk, I took the long steep climb up to Los Rios and noted, with gratitude, their parking lot is full.  Someone in a small compact car waved to me, but I couldn’t see the driver through the window glare, and I am just self-conscious enough NOT to stop and inquire, since they may NOT have been waving at me, and I didn’t want to interrupt the glory of the morning’s walk with social awkwardness.  I am 62.  I am alive.  You gave me another day, Lord.  You let me observe this glorious creation of Yours. Breathe the cold, healing air and walk on.

Prior to all of this, I took some comfort in an old Riley family tradition.  I watched the live stream of the Rose Parade.  As a child, my mother would urge whole oranges on us, watching the parade, as remedy for the week of Christmas candy.  This morning, I was bracing for major doses of woke weirdness.  To be certain, there were obligatory nods to earth stewardship and float banners carried exclusively this year by female eagle scouts, but the Marine Band marched by, playing shamelessly patriotic music.  The Lutherans gloried in the story of Christ. One group celebrated teaching young people “self-discipline” and “accomplishment.”   My own alma mater, the Arcadia High School Apaches, commanded the boulevard with that big marching band sound.  The University of Utah girls were wholesome, and sexy, and female.

I am starting 2022 with fresh faith.  Old ideas win, because they are truthful.

The war may grind some of us to dust, but the truth — God’s truth — always wins.  Take solace, and get to work.

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This post was written by Jim Riley


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