The Heart Of Coal

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I’ve been told that under my tough demeanor, I have a heart of gold. A sensitive side. And I’ve been told that I am handsome. But that’s another blog for another day. Or many days, actually.

When Girl Person and Boy Person decided to visit a West Virginia coal mine yesterday, they told Digby and I that since it was so cold, we could take a nap and they would be back. I had no idea what a coal mine was.

But when Girl Person explained the cold, dark and scary space, and how you had to ride down into it, Digby and I had absolutely no problem taking that nap. Plus, when they told us they would buy us a hat, well. It was a deal.

They weren’t gone too long. But apparently they learned a lot.

They learned about coal. And about the people who worked very, very hard to get the coal.

I don’t know about you. But I didn’t really know too much about coal.

Dogs usually don’t talk about it, I guess. So that’s the first thing she talked to me and Digby about. She explained what coal was.

We learned that there are many uses for coal. Persons use it for electricity, to make steel, to produce power.

And the persons in this West Virginia place that worked to get the coal for others to use had a very hard life most of the time.

It was not an easy job. In fact, it was a dangerous job.

I don’t think that persons often think about all of the conveniences they have and why they have them.

When they are turning on a light, or when they use their heater, do they wonder why they have electricity? Do they know about the ones like the coal miners in West Virginia who worked so hard?

Or the fact that so many died?

Do they know the sacrifices that even animals made in those coal mines? Like the ones that carried tons and tons of coal every day?

What about the birds in little cages that the miners carried to know if their air was safe? Yes. Many birds lost their lives too.

It’s easy in a world full of convenience to ignore why we have them. And we waste power. We waste so much. That’s not respectful to anyone. Not the ones who worked for us to have it.

We should all have a heart of coal. Not gold. It is so much more valuable.

Coal may start off cold. But when used, it produces heat and power! Even if we have had a cold heart towards ones in our lives, it can be warmed up.

I think of how life progresses for persons. They have ones in their lives like family that they take for granted when they are young. Time marches on and life takes twists and turns, and sometimes there are disagreements or differences in opinion. Do they let those things make them forget what their family gave up for them when they were young?

Do they take for granted the ones in their lives? They do.

Coal miners worked long and hard days.

Coal miners lived simply, yet provided for so many others.

As with every place and state we visit, the coal mine of West Virginia teaches us about the past, but prepares us for the future. If we keep taking conveniences for granted and we are wasteful, they will be gone one day.

Family can be gone one day too. So precious are our coal hearts. Dig deep. Feel. Forgive. Appreciate.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Grand View

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Persons are always saying that they are trying to get to the top! The top of their game.

The top of their job and their career.

But dogs have a different reason for getting to the top. We like the view. Yes. We see what you see. We feel what you feel. I’m not sure when this started to be ignored.

We went to a place this week called the New River Gorge National River. And we headed to a high place to see it.

The hike wasn’t too hard. In fact, I felt almost a little guilty about that. Because the views below should have been worked for. However, no one could earn that view. It was that beautiful.

This was definitely a grand view.

The view was a mix of mountains and river and train tracks and birds soaring ever so gently in the wind. Digby doesn’t like heights. But he even appreciated it for a moment.

West Virginia has made us be more self aware this week. It’s funny how each place wants to teach us something.

A view, a grand view doesn’t have to be beautiful. It can be awe inspiring, yes. But a true grand view can even be low. A grand view gives your perspective, depth, meaning. What do you learn about yourself there?

You may consider a West Virginia coal mine. Coal mines are low under ground. Not high. Yet, the lessons learned there are just as beautiful than from up high.

Why? No matter where we are in life, the high points, the low points, the places inbetween, well, we are there for a reason.

We may have went thru hard times. Maybe some were simply our fault and our making. But we choose not to stay there. We choose to work and to get to middle ground. Then higher ground.

But getting higher doesn’t mean looking down on ones below us. Because we were there too. It’s our responsibility to take someone up with us to a higher view if they want to go. It might be a harder climb. But it sure will be more rewarding.

What can you appreciate from your current viewpoint? If you want to get higher, go. But appreciate the view where you are too.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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