Friday, February 18, 2011
More Americans now live in foreign countries than have ever lived in small towns across our great land.
Actually, I just invented that statistic. But it seems like it could be true. Our urban cousins who come to visit us on the high plains of Southeastern Colorado often arrive with a sense of wonder at the absence of civilization here. For Europeans, it is an eye-popping experience to drive south from Denver for over 200 miles without passing through a single stoplight, or even seeing a stop sign along the way.
Three times each week we walk to the fitness center at the local Community College, about a mile from our home. We take a path that leads under a bridge, along Willow Creek, through a grove of cottonwood trees, passing by a sandstone monument marking the location where Zebulon Pike’s party camped in 1806 as he passed through this area.
A small herd of deer makes its home in this wooded area; they stand like statues as we pass by, within just a few feet of their fawns. Birders know this tiny oasis as a special place where over 300 species stop each year during their annual migration. So we are always keen to new chirps and feathers along the way.
We may not have a metropolitan museum, or a professional sports franchise in little Lamar, but how can one not be equally inspired by the cacophony of cattails, willows, thistles and wildlife that is just outside our door?