I had driven this drive many, many times over the years. My love of the prairie goes to the deepest recesses of my youth with memories that are always ready to come to the surface, should I allow them.
Today, those memories were of my mama. It was without fail that she commented on this very same scene every single time we drove it. "Look at those mountains!" she would exclaim without fail. "Oh, those mountains are so beautiful, today."
She loved the mountains. She was a North Idaho girl from birth. She was raised in the majestic beauty of the North Country. Never did it leave her soul.
"Yes, but look at the prairie!" I would answer. I loved the expanse of it, the blue grass (or whatever it was in later years that might be growing) which seemed to spread for miles before reaching the base of any of our mountains. The scent of mint, or freshly cut hay; the swish, swish, swish of irrigation sprinklers as crops were watered in summertime. It was all of those things that simply exaggerated my emotions, heightened by all of my 5 senses, every time I passed this way.
But today, I remembered Mama. I could see her in my mind, riding shotgun next to me as I drove - to town, to doctor appointment; to coffee or lunch - wherever it was, we might be going. I could hear her soft, gentle voice, as she commented on the mountain view that she loved. Soft, yet pleased; always ready to enjoy whatever moment it was that she was then experiencing.
I have thought of these moments many times over the years and smiled at our differing point of reference. It was the exact same scene, but viewed through a different lens, a different heart. And yet, somehow it was the same. She saw the mountains, I saw the prairie. But yet it was the exact same landscape. What was different was the focal point of our attention; what was the same, was a panorama of beauty bringing the joy of creation, and appreciation of the area in which we live. Same view, different perspective. Truly, one is enhanced by the splendor of the other. Seems like there might be a lesson in that.
But today, things were just a bit different for me, thus the tears. Today, I realized that perhaps just enjoying the moment, (which I am guilty of not doing well enough) is something I should do more of - just like Mama. In this moment, I was missing every part of who she was.