It began with guardrails.
It started in the same manner as portals to heaven; a seemingly serendipitous fusion of everyday views that would turn into a habitual seeking of something I had never “scene” before.
Whether it’s because we get more comfortable driving the same routes to work or wherever, there’s something about taking your eyes off the road. It happened once, then again and before long I was noticing previously hidden - though in plain sight - treasures.
I would see something over the guardrails, a marginally hidden home, a manicured corn field, a view of The Catskill Mountains from a particular perspective, and, recently, a historic house in the South End of Albany.
As I was passing the Cherry Hill Mansion, there must have been thirty cars parked where there were usually none. With the nudge from my wife, we went in only to find that it was the Albany History Fair. Although in the process of restoration, the Dutch Colonial structure is superb and the grounds are inviting and mysterious.
How could I have passed this place hundreds of times and never understood its place in history, its value to the capital of New York State and my need to educate myself to its importance?
On top of that, the honored chair of the day was none other than Albany’s favorite son, Pulitzer Prize recipient William Kennedy whose magnificent novels brought history and Albany of yesteryear to life through characters formed from Kennedy’s clan, studies of the capital’s neighborhoods, politics and people.
Listening to him and talking with him one-on-one, I realized that I had passed history by.
Even the past is new when you’re hearing it for the first time.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: When we begin noticing something new everyday, it nudges us to become something new…and even our personal history can be seen anew through the eyes of God.
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5 NIV