Nature is…

“Overrated.”

skyline.jpegThat, for most of my life, has been my evaluation of the beauties of nature. Overrated. I’ve always loved big city life. Skyscrapers and urban landscapes are a thing of beauty to me. You haven’t lived till you’ve been herded into Wrigley Field with 41,117 other fans to watch a ball game. Or until you’ve pressed through the teeming masses to see the Christmas windows at Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Or until you’ve calculated the secret route to bypass the expressway (highway) and take a tangled path to a downtown meeting via surface streets and alleys. Each one a thing of beauty. Each one an urban lover’s dream.

Nature is overrated.

300px-wrigley_field_720.jpgThat’s what I’ve always said. Until now. Now that I live in it, nature is… uh… really, really, really nice. Vocabulary fails me at this moment. Nature is restorative. Rejuvenative. Breathtaking. There; I’ve said it. Breathtaking.

I look out my window on an 80-degree afternoon to a field of wildflowers giving way to chaparral, in turn yielding to oaks and pines, then to rolling hills and soaring mountains with snow-capped peaks, to skies so blue they look plugged in, to the faintest wisp of a cloud, to hawks soaring on invisible winds… and in the middle of it all–my kids picking flowers, studying ants, barefoot, running through grass, finding just the right walking stick, and scrambling to the top of a small hill where my son shouts, “King of the world!” That was just one snippet of my afternoon yesterday.

wildflowers.jpegI’m glad to rear my kids amid this beauty. No, I’m not cutting up my urban-boy credentials. I still long for the feeling of walking into a large, busy building, riding up an escalator (there’s only 1 in my home town now) to a bank of elevators, riding it to a meeting on the upper floors of an edifice mankind has made. There’s something that makes me feel secure, at peace, and non-allergic in those buildings.

But what God has made makes me feel (apart from sneezes and a runny nose) at home.

It’s not overrated.

Not much, at least.

[I took these pictures from my back patio at different times of day. The mountain is Mt Shasta, 60 miles away, 14,179 feet tall. Click on a picture to enlarge it.]

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10 thoughts on “Nature is…

  1. Oh my, beautiful Mt. Shasta!!! You are indeed blessed to view this beauty daily! Redding is such a gorgeous place to live EXCEPT in summer when you’re fried, broiled, and baked regularly! However, i must admit some people love the heat and can’t get enough of it – I’m just not one of them!

    One not-so-nice thing about the cities is the non-security and peace of being in one of those man-made edifices during an earthquake, or, possibly, being a target for some stray jet ….. otherwise, allergies are unknown there, aren’t they? I’ve never heard of anyone allergic to concrete.

  2. I (an avid tree-hugger, mud-digger, farm-smell-lover) am allergic to concrete. 😉 I’m surprised, Bill! Thought most introverts got claustrophobic in the city, but I must have drawn that line in the wrong spot…

    Absolutely amazing view for your family – that’s wonderful…

  3. V,

    Claustrophobic is the feeling you get at 9:30 p.m. when you’re dying for a late night Gyros sandwich and the nearest one is 90 minutes away.

    bg

  4. I completely relate with your sentiments. Moving to New England taught me to appreciate and prefer a soggy bologna sandwich over a Chicago pizza (yikes). Of course, only as long as it was after a challenging hike culminating atop a mountain overlooking the ocean or meadow.

    It’s definitely a learned appreciation and I thank God he allowed me to taste the beauty of nature.

  5. Bill,

    You inserted a photo of the most beautiful place on earth. Especially if the Cubs win.

  6. everyone knows that nature is very evident at wrigley just cast your gaze at that beautiful ivy!
    ps this part of northern california is how i imagine heaven.

  7. Glad you are finally enjoying nature. I was going to give you about six more weeks and then whup you upside the head if you ever again mentioned the lack of local escalators. We have WATERFALLS, dude! Those beat moving stairs. So you dodged a whuppin’.

  8. Some of us remember the time when there was no Macy’s in Redding. That was also the time when there were no escalators in Shasta County.

    And yes, this is the Cubs’ year.

  9. I can gratefully say that I know what you mean, Bill. From our year (1985-86)in Chicago, you were a huge part of what made it come to life. Especially on those cold winter mornings when you drove your camaro by our place, picked us up and drove through those side streets to get us to the YMCA (and me to work on time). We were all poor as Chicago church mice, but you shared what you had, including your incredibly positive outlook, and you blessed us incredibly that year. Living in the big, scary Mid West American city was made a whole lot less scary and a whole lot more fun because you “were just going our way” and stopped to pick us up – daily.

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