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