Two years after we were married, my husband and I went on a 2 week European trip. We flew into Paris, traveling by train to Zurich, Berlin, Leipzig, Prague, Vienna, Rome, and then back to Paris. It was a whirlwind trip where we tried to see as many sights as we could.
My husband, a history major at University, loves visiting historical sights. Sights like Notre Dame, and the Charles Bridge. I on the other hand have always been more fascinated with nature and its wonders. This means that while touring all these man-made wonders, I was more captivated by the way nature projected herself into the surroundings. KC would have his camera out, looking for the perfect spot to capture the essence of whatever historic monument we were standing in front of and I’d be like, “Oh my God! Look at the beautiful wildflower poking its head through that crack in the Parthenon.”
It’s not that I don’t love history, I do, but to me nature is the true miracle. I occasionally find myself thinking about this, and realize for the umpteenth time that I love the natural beauty of this world. Something about it speaks to me. When I’m stressed, sad, or tired, all I have to do is go outside for a few minutes and I feel better.
Moving to Arizona 17 years ago, and preferring greener, wetter climates, was a bit of a challenge, but even here I have been able to find beauty all around. The view I’m greeted by on early morning walks, that little patch of green near my local coffee shop, the slight color changes in autumn…all of it makes me smile. I think, however, my favorite glimpses are those unexpected ways nature shows herself-a monsoon rain shower, the springtime smell of orange blossoms, or the occasional low lying mist that clings to the foothills on morning commutes. These moments remind me that without this world we are nothing, we can’t even exist.
Maybe that’s why the flower at the Parthenon meant so much to me. It was a symbol of nature’s power. In the age of humankind, with all our great civilizations and amazing advances, nature still finds ways to quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, exert herself into the picture. It serves as a reminder that we are just a tiny part of a bigger picture and I find that oddly comforting.