All too often we travel through life unaware of our surroundings and unappreciative. I had a trail near my home in Colorado that went along a green belt on a slope above the housing. The view to the east rolled out for miles on the "amber waves of grain" populated with deer, antelope and the southern tip of the area called the Black Forest. To the southwest the vista was the magnificent snow-cap of Pikes Peak and the Rampart Range. I would often stop and gaze in awe at the glory of the land. On one walk my wife asked me if I thought my mother would have enjoyed living there and that view. In honesty, I had to reply that my mother was one of those who walked looking at the sidewalk below her feet and never raising her eyes to take in the grandeur of life. It was unfortunate in the extreme.
This morning I had a brief errand to run and in the process drove some of the two-lane county roads in my area of Texas. The sky was blue with scattered puffs of cloud, the temperature was still in the low 70's and the rolling hills were a beautiful panorama of shades of green. The trees dotted the landscape and the white fences of the various ranches and horse-breeding operations that characterize this chunk of Texas offered a pastoral scene that was immensely calming. A few pick-up trucks were on the road and in front of the scattering of houses folks were mowing lawns or washing cars. A freight train trundled by enroute to the DFW metroplex without really disturbing the mood.
I stopped at a gas station and a pick-up with trailer was filling up. A Prius wouldn't haul that horse trailer, but it might be handy to have the buttermilk stallion that was in the rear in case the battery went dead. A friend of the driver pulled up and stopped his truck to say "hello" and talk about horses. The few cars on the road were freshly scrubbed families, the old-fashioned kind with a mother, father and children, enroute to church. In a few of the fields a lone pump-jack still throbbed recalling the days when this was a bustling oil field area. Only a few wells still produce and not surprisingly there is little evidence that much oil exploitation ever occurred here. So much for environmental damage.
I was only out for about 45 minutes, but when I got home I felt relaxed and once again glad to be an American.