Ask my children how much I love them.
When we lived in Kansas City, our trips to various parks or the Arboretum were often filled with leaf collecting and identification, tree climbing and gazing at the changing shapes and colors throughout the seasons.
Running the trails lined with canopies of shading beauties was a retreat for my mind and soul. They had a way of taking me into my favorite Jane Austen films, the characters strolling shady lanes contemplating life and love. So, too, is The Lane - Anne Shirley's most precious place to walk with friends, find inspiration or to be alone. My secret joy was to discover fellow landscape lovers in their yard tending to their trees or flowers. Stopping to visit with them was always an education filled with insightful tips and advice.
I miss it all so very much.
Five hundred miles across the state, the landscape is very different. On a clear day you can see for thirty miles, no hills, trees or smog to obstruct the view. Any cluster of trees most surely marks a homestead or what was once a flowing stream or river. The sandy soil, blistering winds and intense heat combined, do not play gracious host to lush and abundant foliage.
I am learning, however, that when you are taken out of the "abundance" the eye, as well as the soul, become more sensitive to glimpses of beauty wherever it can be experienced.
In the absence of trees, I have witnessed the vast expanse of magnificent sunsets that from horizon to sky, display a brilliance of colors indescribable. And, if that were the supper for my sights, dessert most certainly would be served in the stars. Not intermittent specs in the sky, (my view from front porch suburbia), but a blanket of shimmer, patterns of bright outshining the dark. Without the competition of streetlights and smog, they are just what God always hoped we would see and enjoy. Beauty in unexpected places.
Give me the splendid, silent sun. ~ Walt Whitman