My friend Bill died about a year ago. The word “big” does not fully encompass his view of life and living and who he was. He had a big heart, big intellect, big passions, and big appetites. He was a big bear of a man and people, big and small, loved him dearly.
Recently, at a memorial for Bill at his home, where we talked and remembered, I asked his wife and best friend, Ann, if I could take some pictures of their backyard. This is one of the ones she liked.
I asked her why they picked this spot for their home. Ann said when they were looking for a house 20 years ago, the most important reason to move was to get close to water in a natural setting. Ann found this house in the classifieds. When I asked her what their first reaction was upon seeing this view, she said they were blown away by its serenity and ever-changing beauty. You cannot see this view from the road; you have to pull into the driveway to get the full effect. They walked through the house and kept looking out the windows at the creek. On the trip home Ann said she asked Bill this question, “Are we going to wait until tomorrow to give these people $1,000.00 earnest money, or should we go back and do this now?” They both knew it when they saw it, but buying a house is a big deal. They decided to go back to take in a different view, one from the water. At a nearby beach, slightly up creek from the property, they launched a canoe and paddled down the winding waterway. First view – very nice. Moving a little closer, second view – unbelievable. In quick order, they wrote a check to hold the property and have been there ever since.
Anyone who lives this close to this type of nature gets to see a constantly changing mural of activity – tidal changes, birds and creatures that live near water, fish, early morning mist on the creek, sunsets, seasonal changes, floods from hurricanes and mud flats from drought.
It is easy to imagine sitting in this chair and listening to the sounds, smelling the air, and watching. It is easy for me to imagine the big guy sitting there taking it all in and loving it, from a number of different perspectives. It is all about the water, and it is all about my friends, Ann and Bill recognizing the possibilities and acting on them. Really big deal.