By Kerry Steedley
Beauty comes in many forms. You can find it anywhere.
I’ve seen beauty for seven weeks straight now.
Ever since I left Athens, I’ve been astounded
by every landscape we’ve passed.
Sapelo Island is a magical and mysterious place,
where menacing moss hangs from old growth live oaks,
the beach is clear of tourists and
an old lighthouse welcomes the weary.
The desert, although more barren,
was teeming with beauty in a different form
Agaves and other succulents dominate New Mexico,
but look closer and you can see blue bellied lizards
and the night sky giving clear views of constellations,
and even better, the Milky Way.
Canyons of grand sizes, sprinkled the dry states,
each with a different history of formation.
Each color and texture a different chapter
adding to the history book of the earth.
California was beauty.
The coast, the woods, the city.
Seals and sea lions rested on black sand beaches.
Birds nestled in giant sequoia and redwood forests.
Beautiful people reside in all part of San Fransisco,
some painting colorful murals in the Mission District.
Lava tubes glittering with gold lichen and water drops, were created in the absence of light, only to be seen with the use of a bulb.
Oregon and Washington, short with lasting impact,
created a sense of longing to see and do more.
Crater Lake’s spirit touched my eyes to see
the most concentrated blue found in nature.
Jump off cliffs into water that paralyzes the legs and lungs,
but only for seconds — just enough time to see a glimpse of what you love.
A hike up Mount St. Helens is anything but ordinary,
with fuzzy trees, moonscapes, and a volcanic crater to stare into.
I saw the most symmetric plant and flower there.
It was small, less than 6 inches, and I almost walked right past it.
There were only three in a tiny cluster of forest.
Remarkable beauty, almost gone unnoticed.
Portland was quirky and cute, the art and style intriguing. Intellectuals and energy savers, changed my perspective on lifestyle.
Moving into Montana, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Fields of green, and the most lakes and rivers I’d seen in a while.
Glacier National Park was a favorite for me.
Wildflowers and rocks of all colors,
Wildlife peeping on occasions,
beauty in all directions.
Pink and purple skies, created an alpine glow
over a lake near Bozeman.
Some of us gathered on the beach to skip rocks
and take in what would soon be over.
Yellowstone houses bacteria that create a mosaic
of color while amongst strong acids and high heat.
Most beautiful of all though, are the people on this trip.
Sometimes I see the interactions between us
and I step back to hear the laughter and see the genuine smiles,
then realize we are no longer strangers.
The natural beauty is unparalleled, but the social complexity is something indescribable and much more powerful.