That, 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.
That’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.
I’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.]