Nature's Version of an Extended Family
As I look out the extra-large picture window at work, I see a view that changed my whole perception of Thanksgiving this year. We look down on the rooftops of Ashland, Oregon and catch a tiny glimpse of Main Street right below us. Peeking up between the buildings are the blazing orange and red trees that line this picturesque town full of Shakespearean actors, memorabilia and artists of every variety. Across the street are more rooftops, with deck chairs and little gardens, beyond the quaint downtown are rolling green hills dotted with barns and cows.
We have just had our first light dusting of snow for the season, right in time for the holidays. As I continue looking out the window, drinking in the view, I notice that the bottom third of the mountains I see are still a vibrant green from all the fall rain of recent weeks. The middle third is more of a grayish color, and the top third is covered in snow. How beautiful to still have the gorgeous green of summer, the brilliant colors of fall on the trees and the quiet white of winter all at the same time.
And it hit me that I am looking at Nature’s version of an extended family. Down at the base we have all the bright and bold activity, all the exuberant colors of our youngest members. They dance all around and sing, “Look at me, look at me!” It is impossible to ignore their bounce and their verve, their enthusiasm and propensity for mischief.
Out just a little bit are the mothers tending their young amid the lush green of the pastureland. There is a fullness to them, a richness you can sense of all that they have to provide for their young ones. There is life in every step, and vigor that is palpable.
Beyond that there is the gray of the slightly older parents, the ones with teenagers. They have earned every gray hair with late nights waiting up for their buoyant ones. They have crossed over from mommies and daddies to parents with rules to enforce. If they are lucky, they have learned from experience, not to take themselves too seriously. They have started to mellow and laugh with their kids, instead of worry so much. Their kids come around these days because they want to, not so much because they are dependent. It is a nice transition. Hanging out with your own young people, still having a bit of hip and cool to dispense.
Then there is the top of the peak, and I see my folks and my husband’s folks with their white hair and their wisdom, their stories of the old days, and their laughter at us young people with all our big ideas. They have succeeded in so many ways. They have history and depth, they are the sages and the poets, with time on their hands to think about the big questions. Us young ones are still just running around after our children, going in every direction, and looking forward to the days of big questions and time to think.
I think about how nicely this whole scene fits together, and how it almost makes me cry for all its beauty. I feel a stinging in my eyes, not for the multi-colored hills, so much as for the beauty in my family, the rungs of wisdom on our family tree, and the tiny buds still bursting open with new life. It is truly a gift to belong to a family, and to be looking forward to my husband’s entire extended family joining us this Thanksgiving.
Liesl Garner, Fashion Marketing Writer for an authorized reseller of UGG Boots
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