Dreams really do come true. Keep dreaming!
Just this past Saturday, with temperatures at nearly 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I spent hours in my yard raking leaves and removing any remaining garden plants and annual shrubs from the almost forgotten flower beds around the outside of my house. I finished the yard work, scanning my immaculate leaf-free front lawn and the piles of leaves I’d moved to the street for pickup, extremely gratified by my efforts and with a body so sore I could hardly walk.
Sunday afternoon the rain started and it didn’t stop; it poured all night long. I fell asleep to the sound of raindrops drumming on the roof and the steady downpour continued into the early hours of Monday. Then in late morning the rain turned to snow. The snow fell in great big fluffy cascading snowflakes and it too didn’t stop for hours. It was the kind of snow that distracts kids from their school work as they excitedly daydream about sledding, snowballs and building snowmen; while adults somewhat less excitedly consider road conditions and taking alternate routes home and the time it will take to get there and what shoveling the night may have in store.
Let me just say it right now, compared to so many parts of the United States, places like Buffalo, NY and Erie, PA, where just last week 7 feet of snow fell in one snow storm, we basically got nothing. This winter storm only left us with dropping temperatures and biting wind, and anywhere from 2 – 4 inches of snow along with a thick layer of ice that had accumulated underneath the snow from all the hours of rain. I’m grateful we got rain instead of snow, because if 1 inch of rain equals 12 inches of snow, we would have been talking multiple feet of snow too.
Today, after all the precipitation had stopped, I went home at lunchtime to shovel and chip away at the ice, and attempt to clear my sidewalks. I wanted to take advantage of the afternoon forecast of plentiful sunshine until the sun went down.
Although snow managed to cover nearly every surface of my lawn and most of my driveway and sidewalks, I was perplexed by all the leaves that I saw underneath the snow. Obviously the rain and wind had carried a ridiculous number of leaves to what had been only a day or two ago, a beautiful bare lawn. Today with the fresh blanket of snow, my lawn took on a whole new beauty and perspective. As I shoveled and scraped, I found myself reflecting on a conversation I had with a co-worker friend at work yesterday. We had started it by discussing a book we both had read, then we moved on to our mutual love of Irish and Scottish brogues, and then we ended up comparing the beauty of Wisconsin to the 7 Wonders of the World. No matter how many examples I gave, Wisconsin didn’t seem to stand a chance.
So would you like to know what else I thought about as I scraped and prodded the ice from my driveway and sidewalks? Well, I thought about all the different places where people call home on this mighty and vast planet. From deserts to snow-capped mountains, from tiny villages to metropolitan cities, from jungles to mighty forests, from war-torn lands to safe harbors, from farm communities to island sanctuaries, from major tourist destinations to places no one in the world has heard of, from slums to just about anywhere else in the world, and my mind went on and on with all the possibilities.
Regardless of where home may find all of us, I am confident that if you went outside right this second, either in your bare feet, or slippers, or flip flops, or warm and cozy boots, you wouldn’t have to look very far to find some breathtaking wonder of the world right where you call home.
I know this is true, because it happens to me all the time. And today, what might have seemed like just a typical Tuesday to some people, was in fact the day I found some lovely concrete examples of wonders of the world in my own backyard. I just couldn’t keep them to myself, so I took these photos so I could share them with all of you. I snapped a few more when I got back to work and then earlier this evening while running some errands. Maybe they’ll inspire you to take a walk in your own backyard and see what wonders might be waiting for you. Wherever you go, bundle up, stay warm, and safe travels to all.