Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pennsylvania the Beautiful (did you miss me?)

Pennsylvania is the mother state. I grew up there and could not wait to leave for college. After I graduated, I ferverently sought jobs elsewhere and ended up in Colorado. During the past 11 years I've been back to PA many, many times, but this time Pennsylvania gripped me by the heartstrings in a most powerful way. Her greenery was so bright, it hurt my eyes to stare at it for any length of time. Looking across the vast rolling expanse of the Pocono mountains dotted with weathered red bans brought tears to my eyes and a homesickness I've never before experienced.

"Dang, this place is beautiful," I snuffled to John as we drove West on 118 toward Rickett's Glen State Park.

"Yup." My man of many words replied.

Hiking along the misty forest paths, I drank in the sights and smells. The loamy smell of moss and rich soil mixed with the spicy scent of white pine, ferns carpeting the ground as far as the eye can see and the blueberries! I remember sneaking off into the woods across the street from my home to climb to the top of blueberry mountain gorging myself until my lips, fingers and teeth were blue. Mom was afraid for my sister and I to play in the woods - especially near the blueberries b/c of snakes. Whose afraid of a cute little snake?

What is most disturbing to me now is that my woods are gone. Developed into pricey homes by a developer.

For all the years I lived in NEPA, (that's North-East Pennsylvania for those of you non- natives), I never thought of it as a place of stunning beauty.

Here in Colorado, believe it or not, there are people who are as blind to the beauty here as I was to the beauty of my motherland. I think it's becuase we get so wrapped up in the demands and trials of life we forget to look for and see the beauty God as surrounded us with. As a child, I was so focused on the pain of being different (thick, Hubble Telescope lenses in the glasses) I yeared for escape. Now, years later, I found myself mourning my lack of appreciation. I could have grown up in a stinky, smelly city. Looking back, I had something very close to the idyllic childhood.

It is my prayer, that in this georgous state of CO, Kyle can grow up and see the mountains every day, finding himself breathless by their massive beauty.

Pictures above are from Rickett's Glenn State Park (except for the barn which is in Dallas, PA)- you should all go there sometime and camp there (or stay with my parents :)

RGSP has one of the most awesome hikes along Kitchen Creek. 32 waterfalls cascade down some very slippery PA shale. Unfortunately, due to all the flooding PA has faced this summer, the trail along with many of it's bridges was washed out. We were unable to hike the trail due to its closure. Next summer perhaps...


Joe said...

Beauuuutiful pics. It does look like a great place to visit. How dare they take your blueberries down!!

Humble Beginnings said...

Nice pics.