Yes, the return to what I consider ‘normal’ has been pretty revealing to me.  As I wrote in my last letter, being in the French Alps was pretty spectacular, even if at times I felt as if I would run into George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley doing a remake of their “Last Christmas” video.  Yes, it was a wonderful experience.  But there is something about being at home.


I could be a bit jaded about this perspective.  When I returned from the frozen tundra that is a skiers paradise, I found the weather on the island to be a bit more conducive to my idea of paradise.  The sun was blanketing the island with 20c-plus degrees and after unpacking, I found myself just sitting outside, relishing in my choice of a place to live.  What a miracle to be able to live where I live.


Last evening, just after midnight, I was back on the terrace, looking up at the millions of stars filling the evening sky.  I couldn’t help it…I went back inside and fired up my trusty camera.  This sight was too good to keep to myself. 


There I was, trying to steady the camera on the terrace railing, making all sorts of adjustments to the normally automatic camera settings.  After several painfully long-exposures, I knew I had captured the moment so I could share it with you all.  The moon was glowing, Orion was nestled amongst the other stars, all on a backdrop of pitch-black.  And when I transferred the photos to my computer this morning, that was what I saw…pitch black with a speck of something that could have well as been a fleck of dust.  So I cheated and went online and found a photo instead that looks just like what I saw so you could see what I saw vicariously.


I wasn’t sure what I was going to do today.  I had my usual breakfast on the terrace, transfixed on the vista unfolding in front of me as sailing boats appeared and dropped their anchors to bask in the sun.  I had quite a bit of work to do after my client trip, but I decided that a break might in order so I went to lunch with two special friends and then returned home to contemplate some of the miracles that surround us all. 


The miracle thing?  The Jefferson Starship had it right when they said, “if only you believe…”


Megeve, at night (without WHAM)

someone else's photo of midnight stars over Mallorca

today's miracle vista

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, James B. Rieley