I don’t think I am immune to the beauty that surrounds me here in England, but after living here for 20 months, I must admit I have started to take some of it for granted. The neat hedges, the fluffy sheep dotting green fields, the storybook stone cottages with their thatched roofs, wisteria climbing up walls and dripping over doorways–I’m so accustomed to seeing these things that I don’t always stop now to appreciate them for their individual merits. These characterful features of the country’s landscape were once the primary focus of my photographs, but now they are more often in the background of candid portraits and architectural close-ups.
Fortunately, a very dear friend (ともだち tomodachi) has just arrived from Japan for a visit. Having moved here from Japan myself, I understand how different the land, the vegetation, the roads, and the houses look to her. In fact, she is so in awe that, as we’ve been driving around the past two days, she keeps saying, “It looks so fake!” It took me a moment to understand she doesn’t mean that in a negative way…she only means that everything looks so perfect, like it’s been designed for a movie set (she even said this yesterday in the howling wind and sideways rain). Or, more accurately, in her words, “It looks like Disney!” So today we tuned out the siren song of the outlet mall long enough to pull off on the side of a single-track road bisecting a field of rapeseed flowers, gilded and glowing under a brilliant sun. Witnessing her utter joy as she snapped away with her iPhone, storing images to share with her friends and family when she returns to her home halfway around the world, I was reminded not to take England’s natural beauty for granted. With but three short months left to enjoy it, I should be pulling off the road to capture my own memories every chance I get. Because, frankly, I don’t think even Disney could recreate this magic.
Posts I commented on today:
(In case you missed the reason for this, I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, and though I posted every day, I was lousy at visiting and commenting on other participants’ blogs. So for each day in May, I’ve vowed to visit and comment on three posts from the various blogging communities whose members have supported my efforts. At least one post MUST be from a new blog I haven’t yet visited.)
Zoned Zebras (FlashTyme–The Blog by M.J. Joachim) new blog of the day
My Top Three Terrible Traits? Is That Even Possible? (Janice Heck: My Time to Write)
W is for Welcome to Washington (Gwendolyn Rose: Living with a Corgi Princess) another new blog!