Different Routes

There are two different routes I take to work on any given day. One, the freeway; fast, efficient, crowded, plain.  The other, “the back way”; slower, open, scenic, calming.  Which one do you think I prefer?

Yup, I’m a back way kinda guy.  Plus it’s got trains!  The main BNSF train route runs parallel to the highway all the way into Spokane. I love that; looking on in awe as I’m passing one of these behemoths, amazed at the size, power and raw beauty of the iron horses and their cargo.

Passing one the other day got me thinking about . . . sunsets.

A Summer sunset from my back deck

I also love watching sunsets, for pretty much the same reasons I love watching the trains. It never ceases to amaze me, the size, power and raw beauty of these displays; the colors, the grace, the brilliance.  My wife doesn’t understand how I can sit out on the back deck, alone, quietly watching nature.  I used to say it was probably a guy thing. Several women I work with, when I’ve talked to them with the “my wife just doesn’t understand when I do this” talk, would shake their heads and go, “Yeah, my husband can do the same thing. I don’t get it either.”

Ah, women . . .

For me, I think I like to live in a continual state of awe for the simple beauty and wonder that surrounds each of us every single day.  From the myriads of colors shining within the leaves of a tree as it slowly gives way to fall’s emerging chill, to the sheer power and might of a mile long train racing towards some unknown destination at sixty+ miles an hour.

I hope I never get tired of it.

It’s like, I love to travel, yet I constantly remind myself that I already live in a “resort” town up here in little ol’ Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. People come from all over the world to experience the peace and beauty of nature and all its inherent pleasures (are you listening skiers, hikers, backpackers . . . and now, triatheletes?).  It’s magnificence that we, who live here, are surrounded with everyday.  Beautiful lakes? They’re here.  Scenic hiking trails? They’re here.  Endless forest land? Here. Majestic ski runs? Yup, right here: Always has been.

But when was the last time the majority of us who live up in this area really saw them?

Why do you suppose that is?

What are we doing instead?

At the pace we choose to live our lives, at the growing pace of the technology we choose to use, it’s an easy prospect to lose focus on the “simple things” we have surrounding us yet never choose to notice (as our noses are firmly planted in the screens of our Iphones, laptops and pad computers).

And THAT’S why I can sit out on my back deck for endless stretches of time, seemingly looking at nothing in particular and everything at once.  It’s the kid in me.  It’s the wonderer, and wanderer in me.  It’s the choosing to slow my pace, and . . . see.

Psalms 39:6 We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.  We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.

Psalm 107:29-30 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. 

4 thoughts on “Different Routes”

  1. Oh, man, you are talkin’ my language! I have always found secluded places of natural beauty where I escape to ponder or just enjoy the loveliness of it all. I remember calling my kids outside to watch a glorious sunset and talking with them about the beauties of nature. Recently my son invited ME outside to view a sunset he was enjoying. I am so glad I shared my love and gratitude for these creations with my kids. Now they are the ones sharing with me. What a great payback!

  2. Back when I had my old pub business, the back door was facing due west and we’d occasionally take “sunset breaks” and the whole crew would go out the back door to view a particularly cool sunset.

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