My memory is not the best. I have trouble sometimes recalling small details from childhood, adolescence and even as recently as last month that some people find important. But this one image will forever be etched in my memory: The smiling, laughing, contented faces of 30 men, women, and children reflecting the soft glow of the campfire. I will forever be able to recall the boisterous murmur of the eclectic crowd punctuated by the zealous shout of a child requesting more smores. I will remember the moment when I realized the reason each one of these people had traveled hundreds of miles to be here. They all had beautiful campgrounds, excellent fishing, and pristine parks both those from the north and the south. They all had family and friends to share their weekends with, but they were here. They came because we were here. 30 people -friends from our entire timeline- were here for no other reason than because they loved us and each other. My heart swelled.
Then I am reminded of a not so long ago gathering at my home where 4 generations of my family were represented. They ALL drove 2 hours to be here. God has blessed us with a beautiful home and land, but they did not have to come. It would have been much simpler for us to have traveled to them. They came because they wanted to share in our joy and celebrate a birthday. They came because they loved us. My heart swelled.
Basking in the glow of friendship, memory wandered to another gathering of our friends around a fire. It snowed that night. They came to celebrate a new year. These friends were not the same ones whose company I enjoyed now. These were another 20 or so people who had traveled to be with us. Another 20 people whom we loved dearly and who loved us. My heart swelled.
The warmth of the fire and love envelope me and I think of all that He has given me this past year. I think of how much we lost the years before. The weight of knowing fills my heart to bursting as I compare riches. God loves us. He is here because He loves us. The damn is breached and my heart overflows with love and joy and peace and contentment. I am so rich. My cup runneth over.