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It's a Beautiful World

Staff Member
It's a Beautiful World - January 18, 2006

I was heading home after driving my daughter back to college following a short break. It was late, I was tired, and I wished I was home.
I crested the mountain where Shenandoah Valley's Skyline Drive intersects with U.S. Highway 33 and was treated to a spectacular view of twinkling lights on the snow-covered valley, with dark ridges of the western Alleghenies in the background. "How beautiful!" I exclaimed aloud, even though there was no else in the car.

My mind's eye traveled to other scenes of beauty all around the world. As a Yankee import and lover of travel, I also revel in the pastoral landscape of a back pasture field and woods filled with knolls and rocks on the Indiana farm where I grew up. It was a setting of such serenity and peace. I often went there as a teenager to sort out my feelings, the world, and my place in it.
Further west, Kansas and Texas can seem interminable if you are traveling through to another destination. To the people raised there, the flat stretches of land filled with absolute nothingness bring a feeling of freedom, wide open spaces and great, plentiful stretches of land. Up north further across the border is Manitoba. I'll never forget the first time I experienced a sunrise and sunset there where the sun explodes over the horizon in a huge orange or red ball.

On to California, where I've only been twice, once by car and once by air. Normally we think only of Hollywood or maybe the beach and the mountains there, but in between there are large deserts of course, vineyards, Redwood forests and farmland. Did you know that California is the nation's leading producer of over 77 different agricultural products?

My daughter captured some of the beauty and specialness of places and adventures she's been privileged to experience in her first 23 years:
"Twenty-three years ago, I was born in Virginia. Since then, I have hung out over the waters of a choppy Michigan lake, strapped in a canvas sling, my meager weight holding the sails upright against the wind. I have pondered the winding growth of a tree, twisted by Rocky Mountain wind, beautiful and clinging to barren rock. I have watched a hundred hot-air balloons lift into the azure haze of a New Mexican morning. I have sat by an ancient waterway, legs dangling, heart alive, eyes filled by amber sunset and ears consumed by the chant of imams calling the Istanbul devout to prayer. I have stood at the top of the Twin Towers in Manhattan. I have spent two hours stuck in an elevator, hovering above Toronto in the (then) tallest building in the world.

Baboons have stolen my lunch, hyenas have whooped me to sleep, and a bounding rhino has cut in front of my bus in a South African preserve. I have walked in a WWI trench. I have stood in an underground bunker, feeling the earth tremble as a 60-year old gun screamed and lurched its way to the surface. I have sat on tile where St. Paul once walked. I have swam on a deserted beach near there, in water so blue it hurt my eyes to believe it could be real, the sand beneath raked in soft ripples where my toes had yet to press. I have raced to the end of the world, running so hard my lungs scraped my ribs, laughing, flying, my feet pounding the trail inches from a cliff until all I can see is a line of froth at Cape Point, South Africa, two oceans meeting, stretching to the horizon. But I have never been to California."

Submitted by Melodie Davis from her weekly column ANOTHER WAY: www.thirdway.com
The awesome creation of God is so beautiful at times . Sometimes the site of it fills your heart and soul with a feeling that can only be from Heaven . Thanks for the thread . MikeT4G :rainbow:

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