I’ve lived in Newberg, Oregon for the last 8 years. It’s nestled in the heart of wine country and is complete with vineyards, orchards and rolling green hills. There are little red barns, farmer’s markets and neatly manicured fields as far as the eye can see. Everything about it delights my senses.
Just on the five minute drive from my house to the grocery store, I pass 5 places that I regularly look out my car window, inhale in a reverent kind of way and inform whoever is riding shotgun, “That is SOOO beautiful.”
On mornings like today when the fog is low on the hills, I drive a little slower and take the long route home just to catch the color peaking through the white skies.
Each spring and fall I make a date with the Dixie Chicks to sing “Wide Open Spaces” on repeat while I drive around and capture the season’s beauty on my phone. There are very few activities that fill my bucket more than cruising the back roads, belting out my favorite songs and taking in the beautiful colors of the Pacific North West.
I then come home and make a video with my pictures. It’s like my own personal soul-filling tradition. And I love it!
This is why I found it completely surprising the other day while driving the well worn path from Springbrook Road to Zimri Lane– a trip I’ve made THOUSANDS of times–that I saw something I’ve never seen before.
Several times a day, on whichever errand I am running, I pass The Allison, a five star hotel placed against a background of a neat and orderly vineyard. Its charming color palette and modern design always please my inner artist.
But…for the first time since moving here, I found myself stopped at the nearby railroad crossing waiting for the bus in front of me. And that’s when I looked left. I NEVER stop at that railroad crossing, and my eye is always taken to other more prominent scenes, but this day I looked left…and saw a lovely snapshot.
I immediately turned around and pulled off the road to take it in and enjoy the view.
A tree lined railroad track in the fall. Simple and beautiful. I’ve missed it for the last 8 years.
So, I’ve recommitted to noticing.
I’ve recommitted to noticing the beauty in the puddles and the raindrops, the fog and the leaves. I’ve recommitted to looking left when right is the norm.