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Seein’ Gratitude

The Rest Of The Rodeo
October 25, 2022
Ol’ Sticky
November 16, 2022


This is the second installment in my 'Gratitude Series'. It's "Red's" rhyming story about the blessing of sight. The first poem in this series about acknowledging thanks for our five senses was "Hearing Gratitude".  Watch for smell, taste and touch to follow one of these days.

I am a consciously, actively, grateful and blessed man. Every day I look around in appreciation of my surroundings. If I'm heading east from our place, I drive past Mallard Lake and check for Walter, our resident bald eagle who, more often than not is on over-watch in a snag. I'm immersed in a habitat that tens of thousands of people from around the world travel to, spending their meager vacations, just to briefly observe. I praise God for His creation about me here in Northwestern Montana. I marvel.  I never tire of, nor take for granted, the opportunity to take-in with my eyes the majesty of The Rockies, the endless forests with golden Tamaracks in the fall, the vast short-grass prairies east of the divide, lakes too numerous to remember, perpetually changing colors, unrelenting seasonal growth and death, green-up and snow-in and the critter's persistent cycle that keeps me aware of the Power so much greater than my capacity to comprehend.

Seein' Gratitude

An extra-pretty day was drawing near a close
A couple of saddle partners were riding south
Grateful thoughts that were tusslin’ In Red’s heart
Began makin’ their way outta' his mouth

"Just take a look at ol' Ty over there Yancy",
Red sighed with a nostalgic twist
"I'm sure glad I was a'horseback today
Or that humblin' view I would'a missed"
"Can you number the colors you see over there
Not counting those dots on his appy's backside?
Must be nine or ten shades of green alone
Count 'em and tell me what you decide"
"Did you see that sunrise this mornin'?
It was a God-painted, pause-takin' delight
I need to express my thanks for this daily gift
At eighty-four I'm just happy to still have sight!"
"I know what you're thinking Yancy 
'Here goes Red gettin' all mushy again'
But, c'mon, you know me old friend,
I just go expressin' my gratitude now and then"
"If you would relax your tough hide a bit
And come round to sharin a feelin'
You'd be talkin' 'bout seein' pretty things too
'Stead'a always doin' your heart-concealin' "
"Take that big, black mustang last week
The one we spooked outta' the woods by chance
Now he was a rare, purty sight to see
C'mon, ya gotta admit that truth Yance"
"Seein' the world is a special gift for sure
Just to be able to take in all the art
That God staged in the world for us
Every day, just looking 'round fills up my heart"
"Look at something as small as a petal
On a ground-hugging, pink bitteroot
Can't really speak for you Pard 
But such things fill the soul of this ol' coot"
"How many colors are there Yancy 
On a tiny hummin' bird's throat?
I calculate God used the whole rainbow
Giving mini-birds that amazing coat"
"Reckon I'm just bein' thankful today
Especially for seein' and such
'Course there's other senses to enjoy 
Like smellin', tastin' and touch"
"But right now I'm just a bit overwhelmed 
Ponderin' on the simple joy of my sight
Imagine if we was blind Yancy
How would we even know day from night?"
"I especially remember the winter view
From our line shack up on the western slope
Watchin' spring-thaw startin' to green-up
Always renewed me, givin' new hope"
"Maybe my favorite recent-memory view
Was seein’ my grandson’s sweet smile
After he sneaked my hat away from me
And knowin’ the kid did it just to get a rile"
"What would you most miss ol' friend 
If you couldn't see at all?
Would it be gawkin' at purty girls
Or maybe gold and red leaves in the fall?
"For me it's tough to say exactly 
Which loss would give me most remorse
But today I'm thinkin' it'd most likely be
This blessed life-view 'tween the ears of a horse"

by Rik Goodell

© 2022. All rights reserved

I continue to be grateful for the generosity of the Price family in agreeing to allow me to post a copy of this painting alongside my work. Mr. Price's art has inspired, or at least accompanied, more than a dozen poems on this website and many are included on both of my CDs.

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