Standing at the left cash register in the Island Hardware Store on Orcas Island, glancing into the back of the story, you will read: “If You are Lucky Enough to Live on Orcas Island, You are Lucky Enough.”
It only took me 12 years of visiting Island Hardware to actually see this huge sign that is discolored with age. It had been there a long time, but somehow I missed these wise words. They have had a profound effect on me, because, up until the moment that I read those words, I took being lucky enough for granted. I saw life as a struggle, and that no matter how good life was, I believed it could always be better. This affected my attitude and my moods. I’d be happier if only…
Throughout my childhood, every morning began for my parents, in the glassed-in sun porch, overlooking the beautiful Detroit River. They sat with each other, their coffee, the crossword puzzles, and, without their hungry brood of nine children. They immersed themselves in the beauty of the day, more often than not, before dawn. This was the only time in their overwhelmingly busy lives when they could be bathed in Nature’s essence. Sounds of the ducks and geese quacking and honking, the lake freighters and small wooden fishing boats cracked the sound of silence.
When we kids would wake up and interrupt my parent’s solitude, my dad would inevitably say, “Isn’t this the most beautiful day ever?” Because every day looked the same to me, I believed my dad was just making stuff up to make us look out the window and see outside ourselves.
Being lucky enough is an interesting experience regardless of what stage of aging we are in. Like, at six, losing my front teeth, I thought I looked hideous, but at the same time, the Tooth Fairy brought me some money! I felt lucky enough!