Then, the happy pictures and posts of everyone else's wonderful lives, happy families, and idyllic vacations ~ you know, the Christmas Letter version of successful living? The kind that make me feel like a loser? Our vacations seem like a disaster? Our real lives extremely, painfully dull, and real?
Let this comfort you. Please.
Look at two pictures from the album I posted on Facebook from our last camping trip of the season, this weekend.
Idyllic. Pristine. Premium spot by the quintessential babbling brook. Luci Shaw's Breath for Bones, a journal, and falling leaves surround my peaceful interlude with nature. This is how what I show you looks:
Here is what you can't see, can't know. We got rained out the first night. The ocean was socked in, so we came inland the next morning. I cried with disappointment. We set up our soggy tent in what seemed like a perfect spot. By the time it dried out, we were regretting our choice. Our neighbor had his radio on full volume. Loverby asked him politely to turn it down. It canceled out the lovely quietness for the rest of the evening because he refused common courtesy.
The next morning, he fell out of his motor home cursing the dogs tangled with his legs. Two young boys with a live, beeping geiger counter started scouring the empty space next to us. This was all before seven o'clock in the morning. We forgot a flashlight, the dutch oven lid handle, the briquette tongs, and hot pads.
Loverby got cranky at a new rip in the tent. I got cranky at a slow leak in the air mattress. We both became cranky at the non-stop traffic on the way home.
There is a "however" ~ We did make glorious coffee. The brook did babble all night only a few steps from our tent door. The aromatic steam from the dutch oven meals probably made the neighbors drool. We did stay warm and dry. We did snuggle like a puzzle all night. And oh, the stars.........
Next time you see a disaster framed, know that somewhere there are beautiful hands taking a swipe at the ugly. There's more beyond the frame.
Next time you see someone's marvelous vacation pictures, realize they aren't showing you the blisters, disagreements, leaks in the tent, or breakdowns. There's more beyond the frame.
And that steep granite mountain I'm nose to nose with right now? Thankfully, there's more beyond the frame. I can't see it, that's all.