White clouds form over the hills like mountains. Pure, white clouds that look like fresh snow on the mountaintops, stretching for miles on the horizon. Behind the white mountains, an awe-inspiring sunset casts red, orange and yellow hues over the peaks as they sweep over the countryside.

Children feverishly wait for the next item to drop in front of them. Relentlessly running as they disobey their parent’s cry for them to wait. Another bright-colored float goes by and with one swoop of the hand, another layer of candy drops in front of the children as they giggle in anticipation.

A cloud forms in the night on the yonder hillside, letting off a light show above it. Lightening cracks above the sky in a flurry of action almost like Zeus is dancing on the clouds to a polka. The clouds suddenly light up in the sky and then darken before another flurry of lights abound.

A black bear stands in the field hoping to cross to the other side. Suddenly a car comes over the hill, ending the silence the bear was counting on to cross the wide abyss. The bear turns around and darts backward, flashing a mysterious white patch on its fur just before it reaches the tree line, just in time for the driver in the car to miss an opportunistic photograph.

A young child shows his huge heifer, wielding it with all of his might hoping and praying that his hard work outside of the ring has paid off. Suddenly the judge provides his reasons for the placing and signals the queens to hand out the ribbons. The child smiles a huge smile as he walks his heifer off of the sand, waving his ribbon to his parents in pure, unrelenting joy.

The dam rages as the waters reach new highs. It creaks and moans as people watch in amazement, hoping it will hold. The water rushes through the gates as it crashes onto the rocks below, going downriver on a water highway to the next adventure.

Laughter seeps through the doorway before you walk in. Someone is in the chair you are about to sit in. A friendly face tells you ‘Hello’ and that he will be right with you, but you know it will be awhile for there is a stirring conversation. One that you yourself want to listen to as the buzz of the clippers cut the man’s hair.

You turn the boat over and hit reverse, sending the boat riders out into the middle of the lake. You visit all of the lake’s nooks and crannies, trying to find what is around the next bend. You soak in the sun and decide to take a dip in the water as it seeps into your bones and cools your skin. Suddenly you realize this is the exact relaxation you needed.

Memorials rang throughout the morning, remembering those that fought for freedom. The day was warm with minor rain pattering the windows. Suddenly two rainbows appear in the horizon, providing a small reminder that those that have fallen are still here standing tall beside us.

At the onset of high school, a young man finds himself facing a new challenge. One that requires him to check his sugars and change his diet, forcing him to find wisdom beyond his years. He finds ways to excel in school and sports, making his own path and teaching others how to deal with the challenge he once faced himself.

You pull into the driveway and open the garage door, giving a big sigh because you are home. You get out and unbuckle your excited child, getting ready for the last few hours of freedom before bedtime. You walk into the house and breath in, letting the smell of home seep back into your nostrils as the sounds kiss your ears in a welcome home greeting.

Your wife’s face relaxes as she sits in her lawn chair outside. Sun radiates off her face as she basks in its glow, smiling ever so often at you as you watch her closely, remembering suddenly how beautiful she is. She pauses and asks what you are thinking in that moment. You realize you’ve been caught and quickly look away, pretending like she has no idea what you were thinking about.

Pure beauty creeps up on us every day, even in the most unexpected of places. Even in Jackson County.


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