Living in the hills of Northeast Iowa, I realized long ago that I was smack dab in the middle of God's country. After arriving at this conclusion, I began to make a list of all the things that make this revelation true. This lasted only a few seconds, for the list is endless, and quite useless, unless one is depressed and looking for something to do. I myself tend to look around each day and say, " Aha, there's another one, " and continue on my way. While many would likely state the obvious, such as the rolling hills, river valleys, farmland and timbered bluffs, I, on the other hand, look at the little things that most of us take for granted. For instance...colors.
Now, when the subject of colors pops up, it is usually the autumn hues that most often come to mind, and I can't deny the beauty of Northeast Iowa in the fall. However, sometimes what is the most obvious is often the most overlooked.
Johnny Cash once recorded a song entitled, 40 Shades of Green, a ballad extolling the virtues of the Emerald Isle, and this came to mind one September afternoon as I sat in a grove of Hickory trees waiting for a squirrel to make an appearance. In all my years of tromping the hills and valleys, I had never noticed so many shades of this rather benign color. After really looking around, I saw dark green, light green, flat green and bright green, blue green, pea green, fluorescent green, and sea green. There was the green of Maple, Oak, Cherry and Walnut. There were other shades of green featured among the Birch, Holly, Elm and Cedar-- and all of those didn't even take into account the plants! Of course the sunlight and shadows cast their own spell on the differing shades. But you get my drift.
After a long, cold winter, green is a welcomed into sight after three to five months of white (a color that leaves very little to appreciate). But the bright green display becomes rather blase' after a short time, due mostly to the heat and humidity associated with it. We tend to look, but never really see the intricacies of God's handiwork. It is all a matter of perspective, and all in how you look at it, whatever it is.
My perspective on this lush green summer of Northeast Iowa? Is that if the Man in Black were to experience it, he'd have at least forty shades to choose from, and probably many more.