Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fleeting Beauty

It takes a special eye to see the beauty of my state, in that hardly an inch of Kansas is frivolous. I remember my mother looking out over a stretch of flat ground that reached beyond the horizon and saying, "Isn't that gorgeous? It's so useful." 

Wheat grows best on flat ground, and rolling hills are perfect grazing ground for cattle. Day after day the 34th state is busy producing food for the rest of the world--she's the hard-working upstairs maid and not the trophy wife.

But the hot, dry summer has meant a gloriously brilliant fall in Small Town. Our hundred-year-old trees are practically on fire, the maples competing with the oaks to see which can be more gorgeous.

In New England or Colorado, I'm sure, this kind of annual beauty is taken for granted. In Kansas it is not. We Kansans walk around during these few colorful days in an autumn-induced stupor. We shuffle our feet through the piles of leaves on the sidewalks and turn our faces up to a brilliant blue sky.

Today is windy, though, and by the end of the day most of the leaves I saw on my morning walk will have been blown off the hardwoods. Husband will be fretting about getting the front lawn raked before the first snow.

The trophy wife moment will be over, but I saw it, and it was spectacular.

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