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If Only
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By Darlene L. Turner

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty." — Psalm 91:1 (NLT)

The sounds from outside the cottage window drifted into my bedroom. Birds singing, crickets chirping, and the breeze rustling the leaves of a nearby poplar tree. I sighed and breathed in the serenity of this spot I treasure.

No hustle and bustle of city life. No sirens invading my space. No phones ringing. No dogs barking.

If only I could stay here longer. If only I could bottle up this little peace of heaven and take it back with me to my world of reality. I pictured myself untwisting the cap and letting it permeate my work area when the stress overtook my being.

If only.

The land on top of this mountain has been in our family for generations. The cottage sits on the very foundation of my father’s childhood home. Perhaps that's why we cherish it so much.

Or was it the memories flooding my mind?

As children, we spent our summers here. First in our camper and later in the cottage my mother and father laboured to build. It was our haven to get away from the craziness of life.

The scent from the lilac bush flowed through the tiny cottage, filling my heart with gratitude for the moments our family shared here. My parents taught me many lessons on top of this mountain. At the time I scoffed at their words, but years later I knew there was truth in what they said. Truths that would shape me into the woman I am today.

A tear rolled down my cheek. I would love to hear their laughter one more time and see the twinkle in my father's eye when he called me tiddlywinks. If only I could be young again.

If only.

However, they were on top of their own mountain. I imagined it to be much like this one—only ten times better. More vibrant sounds of birds singing, flowers radiating smells beyond my wildest dreams, and sights more magnificent than Niagara Falls.

Yes, they were in their own sanctuary of serenity—at their Saviour's feet.

One day I will join them and we’ll spend time together, not caring about deadlines or other stresses of the life we left behind. We’ll sing like no one is listening. We’ll dance among the wild flowers with our arms open wide, spinning until we get dizzy.

I wish I could catch a glimpse of that right here, right now.

If only.

Darlene is a freelance writer and lives in London, Ontario. Visit her web site at www.darlenelturner.com. She believes if you have a dream, believe it will happen, and fly!