Friday, September 24, 2010

The View from Maude Miller's Window

This is the view from Maude Miller's cabin. Her cabin sits in the Grand Teton National Park. I must admit, that I wasn't really listening at the time the significance of Maude was being talked about at some point on our travels. So, I don't really know who Maude was or why her cabin is part of the tour in the Park. Having said that, now comes the disclaimer....this isn't a history lesson, it's a trip through my imagination. Won't you join me for the journey?

As I wandered through and around Maude's cabin I was awestruck by the simple beauty and entranced by thoughts of Maude's life. When I looked out this window and snapped the picture I imagined Maude waking up to the amazing sight of these mountains. When Maude peered out did she see the splendor of the world surrounding her or did she see that the wood pile was looking puny? It's coming on winter, you know, and they will need lots of wood to keep the cabin warm.  It's easy to overlook the spectacular around us when life presses in, it happens to everyone. Also, women who lived in cabins in the wild west were sensible and thought of matters such as wood even while enjoying gorgeousness.Was it easier back then to appreciate the world since they didn't have all the trappings like BlackBerries and IPads that keep our eyes on our lives?

Maybe Maude sat at her table in the early morning hours before her family arose. She would make some coffee, sit and stare out this window thinking about her blessings, her family, her To-Do list, her burdens. I wonder if Maude was a woman of faith? As she sat in the pre-dawn waiting for the sun to rise and shine it's light on those grand peaks did she pray to the Almighty God? Bring her petitions and troubles to the feet of the throne? Or did she ponder ways that she could handle her own problems?

As the sun rose and with it her husband I imagine she got up and poured his coffee. She put the eggs on and maybe, fried some bacon for him. He would need a good meal before he headed out to start his day. Maybe they would talk about the day ahead or maybe just be with each other. They probably had been married a long time and were comfortable in each other's presence whether they talked or not. Did they stand side-by-side at this window, hold hands, and dream of days to come? Were their daydreams interrupted by sleepy children wandering into the kitchen in search of breakfast before school. These children would have to walk to school to learn their ABC's and numbers. They would grow up to lead their own lives; to have cabins and families of their own.

Life wasn't easy in the time that Maude inhabited this world. Not easy, but in many ways simpler. Still, she was a woman just like me. Though many years separate us I imagine we struggle with some of the same issues. I don't think about having enough wood for the winter, but I do think about being able to pay the gas bill that fuels the furnace. I don't have a husband or children, but I think about my family and want to make sure they are happy and healthy. Maude and I are probably a lot alike despite our differences.

I imagined her reflection in the window looking back at me as I stood there and yes, I saw Maude.

 Can you see Maude through this window?

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