I am house sitting for my brother this week which means I get to drive through our lovely rural countryside here in southeaster PA.
Today on my way back from my parents home after Sunday dinner, the weather was so lovely I decided to take the back roads and found myself lost in memories…
As early as I can remember, my mother loved back roads and would explore them all the time. Even coming home from the grocery store, on particularly lovely days, she would take the extra time to drive the back roads, pointing out the lovely landscapes and beautiful homes we would come across.
My favorite drives though were when we drove to the west. Where we lived, driving east or south meant driving into more urban areas whereas driving west meant traveling through the gorgeous farm and wealthy horse country. My parents banked with a small local bank out to the west and I have many memories of drives to it. Instead of taking the main roads, my mom would drive through some of the most beautiful back roads.
As we rolled along I would watch the passing world with such wonder and excitement. The beauty in the rolling hills, the sunlight that played off the fields and ponds, the gigantic old trees that graced many borders of the really old farms, the rich palette of color that simply saturated the countryside, all awakened my imagination. The stability, beauty, and sense of history in the old stone barns that dotted the fields captivated me. I would imagine the entire workings of imaginary families that lived in the large, solid homes close by. I would name the horses in the fields, imagine the life of the children, the chores they did, the excursions they went on… it never grew old.
Mother would point out the particularly beautiful spots, praising God for the glory of His handiwork and the intelligence he gifted to man.
In those drives, she taught us to seek out the lovely things in life, and appreciate them without jealousy or greed.
To this day, few things calm my soul and refresh my spirit like a drive on a beautiful day. I still find myself imagining the lives that are lived in the homes passing by! Likely, they are nothing close to the pictures in my brain, but they keep me dreaming of ways to improve, and inspired to seek out the beauty in those people and things around me.