By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
The old song told us that we could go to the east or go to the west, but someday we would find our happiness in our own backyard. The validity of this thought came to me in a very graphic way recently when I traveled to St. Louis and back on the occasion of the 50th birthday celebration of my niece, Anne.
Things were as advertised in St. Louis. The autumn foliage was still resplendent on the trees, but the task of raking piles of depleted leaves was a daily task. A cold front came in after I arrived and the rains fell gently for a day.
I had the wonderful back porch of my sister’s house in St. Charles to enjoy during that chilly day. She had made sure that the bird feeders in the yard under the evergreen trees were filled with good food and suet. The squirrels and the birds came all day to partake of the goodies.
The next day Jeanette and I took advantage of a sunny forecast to go to the bird sanctuary at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Hundreds of ducks and gulls were converging on the rivers in anticipation of the icy weather to come.
Later we had a family reunion dinner where cousins, uncles and aunts engaged in pleasant chatter and fellowship. The week passed quickly and before I knew it, the time had come to return to Dallas.
As the Southwest flight left Lambert Field, I remembered to pray for the angels of God to be under the wings of the aircraft. That was a trick that I learned from a Jewish family on a flight from Boston years ago. It worked! We made it back safely to Dallas.
As we descended over the downtown buildings, the thoughts of 9-11 came into my memory.
I prayed for the victims of that day, both the workers in the towers and the folks on the planes and all who made the plot.
Back in my own backyard in Oak Cliff, I discovered the wonderful treasure of thousands of delicious pecans falling from the trees as the south wind blew fiercely in anticipation of a cold front coming in. Happiness is truly in your backyard.
Get out there and enjoy it right now.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.