Gratitude is a twofold love -- love coming to visit us, and love running out to greet a welcome guest. Henry van Dyke
Our son and his family were visiting for the weekend. They have a cute little Yorky named Barkley. We took him with us to the hills for a sledding outing. He would enjoy the day with the rest of us. Barkley’s a runner, though, so we had him on a leash.
The kids enjoyed the last remnant of the winter snow. The day was picture perfect—warm with sun gleaming off the snow. I inhaled a breath of gratitude for our beautiful surroundings. Everyone was having a great time when all of a sudden Barkley bolted into the scrub oak. We lunged for his leash, but he was gone.
We all felt sick inside. Gratitude changed to fear. Barkley is little. A wolf or coyote could almost swallow him whole. Our son and daughter-in-law patiently combed through the brush, hoping he would get his leash tangled in the brush.
We all prayed silently that we could find him. After about ten minutes a far-away bark came from the trees on the next hill. Our oldest granddaughter heard him first, running immediately in the direction of the sound. Her parents followed. Soon—covered with burrs—the hunters appeared with dog in arms.
Relief—we hugged and kissed him. The children took turns giving their prayers of gratitude for finding Barkley. Great lessons come from moments of terror like this.
We went sledding the next day. Barkley remained at home nestled in his quilt. He was not invited!
Gratitude was indeed as Henry van Dyke has said—love coming to visit us, and love running out to greet this little welcome rascal in our lives.