Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Dose of Big Sky

While looking at a house, a buyer asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn’t want the sun waking him up every morning. The realtor asked, “Does the sun rise in the north?” The buyer gently explained that the sun rises in the east. The realtor shook her head and said, “Oh, I don’t keep up with that stuff!”

Okay, maybe nature just isn’t your “thing.” Given a choice between watching the Suns (the Phoenix basketball team…in case you don’t keep up with that stuff…) and watching a sunset, you’ll go for the game. “Take a hike,” sounds more like an expletive than a good way to spend a Saturday morning. And when it comes to saving your nails vs. saving the whales, there is no way you are going to give up your manicure!

Anyway, who has time?! Between dealing with the kids, chores, a part-time or full-time job, volunteering, shopping, and driving all over creation to take everyone to their lessons and games…getting to the park, much less a desert preserve, is just not going to fit into the schedule. Besides, outside is either too hot, too cold, too rainy (even in Phoenix), too windy, or too far from a decent toilet. Peeing outside is DEFINITELY not in your comfort zone, thank-you-very-much!

But even when the amount of time we spend outdoors dwindles to the thirty seconds it takes to walk across the parking lot from our car to the grocery store, and we prefer a climate-controlled environment to the viscissitudes of weather, un-tamed nature can still be part of our lives. No matter how disconnected our lives might become from the wildness which begat us, it is difficult for anyone to ignore a glorious sunset or an amazing rainbow, even if it is viewed through a windshield.

If nothing else, it is worthwhile to find the time to enjoy a sunrise (east) or a sunset (west) at least once a week. No matter what is going on inside the house, “Sunset alert!” or “Rainbow alert!” is the rallying call at our home to get everyone off the couch to take a dose, however small, of the mystery and beauty of nature. When thunderheads pile up in monsoon season, that is good reason for a round of cloud appreciation. At night, a moonrise is cause to gather in awe. Even when there is no outstanding heavenly event, we can be thankful for the incredible color of the clear blue sky.

And no matter what direction your family's bedroom windows face, we've taken the time to make sure that what each person sees out that window is worth waking up to…a tree, a flowering shrub that attracts hummingbirds, or a simple frame of Cielo Grande (…that's Spanish for Big Sky).

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