Monday, February 28, 2011



"The problem with growing up in a place so beautiful is they may not fully appreciate it."

We moved from the suburbs to the country when I was nine years old. The suburbs were nice, but nothing to compare with the beauty of the trees, streams, mountains and valleys of Vermont. And of course, the bright colors of the changing leaves. It was stunningly beautiful.

"Can you get over how beautiful this place is," were frequent expressions from mom and dad.

"No. It is amazing. I hope the kids will be able to appreciate it. The problem with growing up in a placle so beautiful is they may not fully appreciate it."

And we didn't. At least I didn't. At least not until years later when I would drive through the Wyoming countryside with my kids and ooh and aah at the mountains, valleys, and wildlife of that gorgeous state with my wife and three kids in the car.

One time I said to Cheryl about our kids, "The problem with growing up in a place so beautiful is tha they may not fully appreciate it." And then I remembered. And appreciated.

Memory is one of God's gifts to us, connecting us with past events and people. Sometimes the memories are painful. Sometimes they are full of joy. At times they are educational. Often, they connect us to the people and events that shaped us long ago. That happpened for me in a flash, 25 years after my parents' drive through the Vermont countryside. I felt connection and purpose.

I also realized that it isn't just the contours and colors of the countryside that matters the most, although the beauty of nature certainly has value in itself: God made it. But what matters most is how we experience it together. What we say. What the kids hear. Because years later, one of them will remember.

Warren Baldwin

Thanks to Karli Bonnie Photography for the beautiful picture of the leaves. It refreshed my memory and helped me remember.


Terry said...

That's very good. I need to remember to be intentional about making good memories (like your parents were).

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

i love this post Warren - our memories indeed need to be refreshed so many times to the goodness and awesomeness of our Lord!

D.J. Hughes said...

Wow. I've never been to Wyoming or Vermont! I'll have to add it to my "bucket list." :)

Where I grew up, it was flat, brown, and dry. But when my husband took me to his hometown on the coast of Oregon, I was blown away by the beauty that surrounded him when he grew up. He has so many fond memories there too.

Great post!

Warren Baldwin said...

Terry - Thanks. And the memories are fun to experience.

Beth - Thank you.

DJ - Vermont and Wyoming are both worth a visit!