I had to drive the cleaned and salted skins up to the tannery in Quakertown today. As an aside: we ended up getting six skins done last Wednesday morning, which only left four for Thanksgiving Day. A blessing, but still a unpleasantly memorable way to spend a holiday morning, and one I'd sooner forget. Hafiz asked why we didn't ship them frozen to the tannery; there are a few reasons:
- Unless you can afford a freezer truck (we can't), they will defrost, and that's one heck of a mess for the postman to deal with, not to mention the potential for a postal investigation.
- The skins are not ready to be tanned as is; certain parts must be trimmed off, and the tannery will not do this for you, nor does the butcher (quite honestly, I am thrilled if he listens to my pleas to take off the legs).
- Most importantly, the skins must be very well salted as soon as they defrost, to stop the decaying process as much as possible; again, the tannery won't do this, and if the skins aren't salted in time, you risk losing them.
So my long-winded point is: the necessary drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the word of the day, "peace." I was hoping to find a representative photo with all those miles of road but I ended up zoning out and thinking about what it meant to be at peace with yourself, and those around you, and the world at large. I also spent quite a bit of time humming "I Got Peace Like a River," but just the first verse.
Being at peace with yourself is a rare gift, because it is not easily achieved. How much time do we spend berating ourselves for this shortcoming or that failing? The temptation to measure ourselves against others (or even worse, our perception of others) is never-ending, and never satisfying either, unless you have the self-confidence of a teenage boy scented to the back teeth with the latest Axe product.
Driving an old pickup truck down backroads selected seemingly at random by a fickle GPS... with a Sunday School song running in my mind and cleaned and salted sheepskins in the bed... with enough gas to get me there and back, and no particular reason for me to rush... For today, that was peace. And for today, it was enough.