The region I live in is not known for dramatic landscapes–no big sky, no ragged peaks or ocean shoreline, no palms, grand flora, impressive architecture. Nonetheless, there are days such as this one when my familiar commute fairly glows with beauty. In the long slant of mid-autumn morning sun, the half-harvested soybean fields shimmer under frost: beige never looked so glorious. Even the big agricultural gleaner glimmers with ice crystals. The sky’s washed with upswept cirrus clouds, and backlit dogwood leaves cling like maroon pennants to silhouetted branches.
Perhaps my aesthetic appreciation of the view is due to a neural release of dopamine responding to images processed through my eyes’ rods and cones; that understanding, if true, in no way lessens my awe.
As I head toward the campus building, the clamorous urgency of wild geese momentarily catches me by surprise. Welcome.