Saturday, July 7, 2012

Driving rural roads makes me think

Nowadays wherever I drive, I'm constantly scanning the roadsides for plants I haven't seen before or maybe haven't seen there. But it wasn't always that way.

I remember never seeing plants when I was a kid. Besides the garden and flowers my mom grew and taught me, it seemed to me that yards and roadsides and the countryside was just unremarkable green stuff, uninteresting. Stuff people mowed. Big deal.

I felt that way about my state in general, too: known for corn, yeah, woop-dee-doo. Boring!

People talked about traveling elsewhere to see beautiful things: to see the mountains, the ocean, Disneyland, Yellowstone, the Dells, always going somewhere else to see something good, to see some scenery. I couldn't wait to leave, but circumstances held me in stasis.

They say there's a reason for everything, and my stasis gradually allowed me to begin to see what was all around me. I literally started seeing the world beneath my feet.

There wasn't just a boring carpet of plants, this was an interesting diversity of grasses, forbs and flowers, vines and shrubs and weeds! There were a ton of individual species out there, and it had been there all along. It was wildly interesting and beautiful.

There was no need to travel far to see beauty, it was nearby. I need only look down.

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