I live in one of the most gorgeous places I know. And I appreciate it. I love love love the tall trees, the majestic and dramatic volcanoes, the Puget Sound.
But there's just something about deserts.
Despite my tired eyes (and I won't complain at length about that because I've already complained enough in person about being tired...and I slept REALLY well last night), I have been feasting on some beautiful scenery.
Yesterday morning I sat on the couch in my parents' living room and saw the sun rise over the mountains that watched over me as I grew up.
We stopped at the Salt Flats yesterday on our way to Provo. The stark and harsh place is beautiful in its own bizarre way. We stood on the spongy salty ground with hot wind swirling around us and Mark looked for a rock to throw. When we climbed back in our van, grateful for things like water, my lips tasted salty.
The air was unsettled and there was wind and rain and sun and lightening all along the way. Every way you looked there were clouds in amazing configurations, dark and stormy, puffy and whimsical, or with sunlight streaking through them.
We drove a back way around the Oquirrh Mountains, through what I think is called Cedar Valley. My grandparents used to live in that valley and I have to think they were sad to leave a place with mountains like that. Enchanting mountains, ringing you protectively.
Then Provo. Did I fall in love with Adam because I met him in Provo or did I fall in love with Provo because this is where I met Adam? I don't know.
But I love them both.
What a beautiful world in all its variety.
Then I started thinking about the variety of people I've seen on this little trip of ours. I like the spice differences add to our humanity.
We went to a Dahl family reunion on Saturday. There was my enormous and shaggy headed professional football playing cousin, Harvey. There was the tall skinny cowboy contingency, of which there are several members, headed up by my brother Tabor with the fancy mustache. (Also Adam caught me from falling over when Tabor was impersonating Mike from Wells Auto...I was laughing that hard.) There was my cousin Micah the musician (who was just a skinny kid in my memory that I didn't really know and turned out to be a really witty and interesting grown up...still skinny), my cousin Zachary the cerebral software engineer, my cousin Jessica who pulled out her bagpipes and played a bit, my cousin Margaret who I grew up with but I think the only things we had in common then were that we graduated from the same high school and had the same grandparents. Now our lives are eerily the same. We each have three kids. Our older two are on swim teams, our oldest sons--both twelve--are heading off to scout camp this summer, our ten year old daughters followed Marianne's daughter Deseret around all day and our youngest two are entering first grade. I just loved chatting with her.
This tapestry of cousins, 38 of us in all, far flung in our interests and occupations and geography but all loving a small, slightly bent 91 year old grandmother. We have different children of all different shapes and sizes but they threw tiny green apples at each other in the orchard like we used to and discovered the fascinations of the big red barn.
Differences and sameness.
I'm grateful for it all.
I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who created everything and everyone to be so very interesting.