I'm not usually a rah-rah "my country is the best" person, but having returned from a 6,000 mile road trip to Arizona and Utah I have to say the U.S. is pretty spectacular. The scenery, at times, was beyond words. Awe-inspiring is not good enough to describe Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has always been my favorite—not that I've been to all the parks to compare, mind you. The majesty of the Rockies has always left me breathless, and not just from the altitude. Bryce is now a close second. In that canyon, you can see the power of nature as, over millennia, wind and water swept away sand and softer rock and left behind pinnacles and towers reaching skyward.
In Zion National Park, I felt insignificant as I looked up at towering rock projections. I've felt the same way each time I visited the Grand Canyon. How little we humans are. Yet, we are capable of even greater destruction than wind and water. We saw evidence of forest fires on our trip. In the wild, fire can bring renewal—destroying the old, bringing new life. Not so when fire destroys people's homes, their very lives.
Through carelessness or deliberately, we humans can be more destructive than fire or nature. When there are cutbacks in school budgets, the first to go are art and music—as if beauty has no value. As I looked upon the grandeur preserved in our national parks, I thanked our forefathers and foremothers who had the wisdom to protect such beauty so that our children, grandchildren, and their children can enjoy the wonders of our great country. I hope future generations can say the same about us.