Some years ago, I planted aspen trees in my yard in honor of my history with Colorado. They have grown to be high and beautiful with soft wood and pretty leaves. I sit on my deck in the morning with my coffee and I watch the life in one tree full of young birds.

This year two young woodpeckers have been regularly coming pecking away at one of the those trees, looking for food and talking to me. Yes, they talk away. I actually think the pair of them are talking to each other, but I insist to myself they, along with the other small birds, are telling me the feed I put out for the finches is all gone.

There is no other sound here in this quiet valley, just my bird friends. The river is down, so much so I can barely hear it. The gentle life here makes me happy and content. Hate, prejudice and mistrust? I think they just don’t fit in this lovely place.

I held a brand new baby yesterday and I thought about the life she will have as she grows older. We have great schools here and churches that value children as precious gifts from God. Will her life be as good as mine has been?

I recently read again a lovely book for us boomers: "The Southwest Corner," by Mildred Walker, one of my very favorite authors. In that popular little novel, she shares with us the idea of “knowing when it’s time to go home” and taking ownership of it. The aging old woman, Marsha, does what she can to make sure she has help as she ages. But the story shows us that life, and even death, even as we may seem to be in control, cannot be controlled. But we can work with it as part of life, if we listen to our hearts and make our own decisions accordingly. That may not make much sense for you because I’m not sure how each of us thinks of our death, but if you would like a short, lovely book for a quiet morning or sunny afternoon, give Mildred a chance. We are not without choices, right to the last minute.

I have found every single baby is beautiful, haven’t you?

KAREN BERTROCH

Grays River

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