Surprised by a slice of western Pa. beauty

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. – Psalm 19:1

Aw, shucks, I think I’m going to miss western Pennsylvania just a wee bit.

It sneaks up on you. After nine months straight of overcast skies, precipitation of some kind and general gloom, it turns on a dime and pelts you with humidity and intense heat. But occasionally, it delivers a stunner, a stop-and-soak-it-in kind of moment.

The kind that just happened.

Two-thirds of the way through an inadvertent six-mile evening run – believe me, I wasn’t mentally prepared for such a distance – I realized I was no longer pondering the intense humidity or the still lingering heat.

Instead, I was marveling at the scene playing out around me. I ran along the town’s paved trail winding through wetlands, woods and soccer fields. The hush of nightfall was settling over everything. A faint breeze played through the maple branches. Overhead, a blue heron circled. As a I rounded a corner, I came face-to-face with two young whitetail deer. We paused for a moment and made brief eye contact before going our separate ways.

Through gaps in the trees, a spectacle began to take place that isn’t often seen in this part of the world. And it’s something I relish – I was admittedly spoiled by the frequency of such an occurrence when I lived in Wyoming.

A vibrant sunset began to unfold. Beginning with faint pastel orange edging the clouds, it spread into deeper hues of peach before bursting across the sky and saturating everything with a warm glow of deep pinks and corals.

I allowed myself to stop running for a moment at the top of a hill to soak it in. Remember: we don’t see this kind of thing much in these here parts.

It lingered as I continued winding through the darkening side streets on my way home.

It says a lot about a place when you try to look up inspirational quotes about it and all you find are speeches about commerce from former governors, references to the region’s “superior workforce” and Sharon Stone’s brief reign as Miss Pennsylvania.

But despite that, there is a sporadic beauty here I often forget (like the Lake Arthur sunset above). Although I will undoubtedly have to deal with some soreness tomorrow, I am thankful for the reminder.

Creation tells His story everywhere – even in western Pennsylvania.

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2 responses to “Surprised by a slice of western Pa. beauty

  1. Mmm–lovely description. Glad you’ll have a few cherished memories of western PA to take with you to Kenya.

    Did I ever tell you what became of my joint pain? Apparently it was due to lack of Vitamin D. And that’s a reason why I don’t miss western PA at all, even if you do actually have some sunlight now.

    • Thank you, ma’am. (c: I’m not surprised about the joint pain. I’ll be interested to see what ailments disappear when I leave this area. Hah.

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