It is often said that "The best things in life are free." So true, I think. Although the "best things" are many in number, there are three worth mentioning here tonight.
Some of the best free things in life are the wind and the rain. In Vancouver, we have plenty of both, particularly this past winter. Perhaps a meteorologist could explain it better than I, but when two weather fronts collide, the wind will surely come. And when the moist air off the Pacific Ocean rises where it meets the slopes of the North Shore mountains, then we are blessed with the long grey days of rain for which Vancouver is famous. Whenever I hear about the many countries facing drought (including our own Prairies), I remind myself of the incredible blessing of these free resources.
Another beautiful free thing is the sound of my children's voices. Not the children themselves, of course, for they are an expensive luxury. But their voices, now that comes to me for free. Just last night my son and daughter laughed over a costume my son was going to use in a school play. I merely needed to sit, entranced, while their peels of laughter played over my waiting ears. Or, when my son or daughter mumble a quick thank you, that is always music to my ears. They want so much to be grown up now that that small sound is something no payment may ever measure. A child's voice is a lovely thing, and free.
Best of all, among all the things that are free, are the thoughts that fill my mind as I pass each waking day. There is no price on the fleeting notions passing by as I drive, alone, home tonight from the writing class I teach. Sometimes, I am almost home before I realize that my solitary reverie has carried me off into some other world. It may have been something someone said to me that day, or a smile, or a unique event in one of my student's lives; whatever it is, we cannot buy it with money, that is for sure. Our thoughts belong to us, requiring nothing more than our continued breathing and are therefore always free.
So, we receive these "things" for free, and they are among the best we have in our short time living on this Earth. Imagine the pleasure I might have while standing in the rain, hearing my children talking together, thinking about life in all its beauty.