Realizing the Natural Beauty Around Us

This is slightly different from my other posts, but I thought something new might be a nice change of pace!

The other day, I was driving home from grocery shopping. Since we do not live extremely close to any kind of grocery store, I only go shopping maybe once per week, sometimes even less. It forces me to really compile a list of everything we need and everything I think we may need in the upcoming weeks.

As I was on my way home, I started looking around at all the mountains and fields in our area. Now, I mean really looking. Not just the glances I usually give. And I realized how fortunate I truly am and how often I take the beauty of our area for granted.

Taking simple things for granted is easy to do.

Man alive! I am so guilty of this! I grew up in a tiny town. Like, we had chickens in our backyard and a horse lived up the street, tiny! There is a two-lane “highway” that runs through the center of town, and I grew up tight up against it. We knew our neighbors, cared about them, and looked out for one another. There were two girls around my age who lived just down the street, and I grew up playing with them. We loved to swim and ride our bikes in the summer and go sledding in the winter. We didn’t have “play dates.” We just went and knocked on each others’ door whenever we wanted to run around outside. It was awesome!

Now, as a teacher, I see kids who do not always have the luxury of just going outside and playing with the neighbors. I truly did not know how fortunate I was at the time. But now, I can look back and think, “I had a great childhood!”

Fast forward 15 years, and here I am, married to a wonderful husband, and living just 15 minutes away from the house where I spent almost the entirety of my pre-marriage years. So, I did not really leave the area. I still drive the same routes to work and other places.

Our “town” now is really just a bunch of houses spread over a large area with a Post Office in the middle. We are nestled in the gap of a mountain, and there are farm fields in every direction. This time of year, the corn is about six feet tall and the soybeans are getting green and bushy.

Driving home from Wal-Mart, it hit me. We live in a gorgeous rural area. The mountains and the fields are picturesque. And we are fortunate enough to live here!

Being grateful for the things around us benefits our well-being.

I have a tendency to have a lot of things running through my brain at one time. I use driving time to plan activities for school, think about what to make for dinner, and brainstorm blog post ideas. Don’t get me wrong, I think that is a good use of my time! But, I also think it is important to take a little break, and just enjoy nature’s beauty. There may be someone, somewhere, who would love to live in an area like ours, but does not have that luxury.

Just today, my mom and I were driving to the farmers’ market, and we saw a mother turkey with about 5 poults. I love to see mommy animals with their babies! We took the time to notice and enjoy this part of nature.

Even on a rotten day, taking a minute to look at and appreciate something in nature can brighten your spirit a little bit.

Now it’s your turn!

I would like to challenge you to take a good look around you. When you are traveling somewhere, even to do something as simple as buy groceries, take notice to the beauty around you. In our area, we have corn fields and mountains, creeks and rivers. Some places have fields of wheat for as far as the eye can see. And for some, beauty may be looking at the city lights from the top of a tall building. Please comment with something you find beautiful around you. I would love to read about it! And if you have a picture of the beauty in your area, you can share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #backyardbeauty.

I cannot wait to see and read about beautiful areas of nature everywhere!

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