At first I was upset when I took this picture. There it was: The idyllic countryside. A fresh, vibrant, and new green meadow with a backdrop of a huge and thick woods just beginning to bud out. There were fluffy clouds everywhere with patches of intense blue sky and brilliant sun dashing in and out, playing with the rain showers. There was the scent of new life in the air and the sound of thousands of birds. In short, it was paradise, so I stopped my car to take a picture.
By the time I had stopped, however, and aimed my camera, there was a terrible and desolate patch carved into the countryside. It imposed itself on the green meadow, obliterated the hedges, and sliced cleanly through the woods. It left a bald and horrible indentation on the landscape, and all for power lines, all for electricity. Once again, I thought, mankind was here. I almost didn’t take the photo, but at the last moment I decided to do so.
I sure am glad I took this picture. When I got home and uploaded the pictures I took, I fully intended to be indignant at the rudeness of mankind. Yet when I saw the picture enlarged, I just laughed and laughed. There before me was a brilliant sea of millions upon millions of dandelions in full bloom. The dandelion sea was gigantic--certainly as large as any Maine river I’ve seen, and now that I think about it, it stretched on for miles and miles.
|A veritable sea of dandelions.|
But you see, I was too busy being angry and indignant. I was too busy pointing my finger and being self-righteous. And because of that, because I was so wrapped up in my own ideas, I missed this beautiful dandelion sea. It is surely pretty in this photo, but how much more so in person? I vaguely, very vaguely, remember it, and more’s the pity for that because I ended up missing out on something really special.
We can’t do much about the structures and ugliness of “civilization.” We can write letters to our Congressmen and cast our votes and hold town meetings and try to beautify our areas. In the long run, some of that may help, and it’s important that we do it, but there are bound to be some areas of the countryside that are made ugly by civilization. Unfortunately, the two--ugly and civilization--often go hand in hand.
But accidental beauty is everywhere if we care to look, and they can’t destroy that even with their “best” plans because it’s spontaneous. It’s here today, gone tomorrow, with something new in its place the day after that. Celebrate the riotous acts of nature. Everywhere you can see her protest signs being held up. They read, “Down with towers! Up with trees!” or “Spread beauty lavishly!” or “Dandelions rule!” and on and on.
Desolate patch carved into the countryside? What desolate patch? All I see is a bright yellow sea of dandelions.