LOVE THE LAND YOU’RE WITH

Last week my girls and I were on the way to the grocery store when we noticed two deer happily munching hosta in a neighbor’s front yard.

We stopped, and watched for a while. Why did we stop? Because beautiful, wild animals had graced us with their appearance.

Interestingly, every other car and passerby failed to take notice of this unique spectacle of wild animal behavior.  The cars passing by looked at us like we were a little funny, but they failed to take a look at what we were looking at.

And it struck me, as we had just returned from vacation, how different things are in Jackson, Wyoming.  In Jackson, Wyoming, people stop on the side of the road–not to watch people, but to watch animals. Wild life. They spend their day looking. Waiting. They pull over and stop to watch for deer, antelope, moose, brown bear, grizzly bear. Natives, and tourists alike. They watch them for hours.

And when they aren’t looking for animals, they are noticing. They are noticing the beauty of the land.They remark, how beautiful, these mountains, these streams, these barns, these valleys.

They pattern their lives around opportunity to enjoy, notice, play on, and celebrate the land. While it may seem like an over generalization, I am telling you right now. It’s true and it’s pervasive.

Everyone I met in Jackson–tourists, transplants, and life-ers, and everyone in between, had a certain soul connection to the geography of the land that I have not seen anywhere else. Merchants, ski bums, pastors, business people and park rangers. They love their land. And they are not shy to talk about it.

These people have something to teach us.

For in some way, my land, your land is beautiful. You may not live at the base of the Grand Tetons, but you might have deer that are passing by your car un-noticed. Without a doubt, on a given day, there is light, sparkling in pools of collected rain water on the street. There are leaves of trees that shine and darken depending on the time of day. There are fields of green laced with flowers wild, white and yellow. There is lightning; there is rain. The sky that expands as a tent of colors, holds, every day, a sunset and a sunrise. And in the middle of the day, the sky beckons, Look at me, I am gray, I am blue, I am white.