Courtney Crowley looks people in the eye to see the beauty of this country

Promising and alive, few things in this world offer a more joyful hope and unbridled pleasure than spring. To be sure, the trilling birdsong, the glowing daffodils and the awakening trees all work their magic to defy the darkness and division of our time.

For those who can perceive this wonder of nature, it is inexpressibly beautiful; not even the wind can dampen the pleasure and peace that God’s creation so freely gives. This land of ours is truly extraordinary, a fact that becomes clear to me every time I step out of my door to wander the streets of my neighborhood. Incredibly, these simple digressions of mine, teaching me to move slower and look closer, have revealed a surprising but deeply rooted truth: the beauty of spring is fleeting, but that of my community is not.


Indeed, in the people of this area, I see the very epitome of the American dream come to life. Driving to work, I pass expertly tended fields and towering herds, both of which testify to the diligence and tenacity of farmers and ranchers. Sitting at the traffic lights, I watch the construction crews build with confidence and skill, and when I wait at the auto shop, I marvel at the mechanic’s experience. The sheriff who turns to help the stuck driver, the plumber who miraculously fixes the clogged drain and the landscaper who pulls beauty out of the hard earth every day earn my admiration and gratitude. Not only do they do what I cannot, but they do it in a quiet, modest and sadly unappreciated way. Even so, they are the ones who built and beautified this civilization that I love so much.

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