I am always inspired by Lisa-Jo at thegypsymama.com.
I have always lived in the foothills of California. My degrees of beauty are always measured by the mountains against the horizon during a cloudy dusk; the moon shining orange through layers of haze; the fog so thick that you can look directly at the rising sun; the moon as a solitary shining full and bright above the light pollution of the city.
I still dream of seeing countless stars and realizing the fascination Galileo had with the skies. I used to sneer at him as I was able to count the 2 or 3 dozen stars that popped into the fading light of the city before bed time. My son and I often stand right outside the front door before bedtime and count the 2 or 3 stars that shine the brightest. He is so amazed at something so small and so bright in the sky. How amazed he will be to see the millions upon millions of stars that are really there, blocked by light pollution from our own house windows.
For years I could not understand the constellations that were studied; how shapes and figures could be determined from so few a bright star. But I have stood in the desert since then; I have seen the light pollution fade on the horizon and the night sky that seemed so dark light up like reflections in the water. I have seen what God put in the sky for us to marvel at and for Him to receive glory for. I sometimes wish for blackouts so we can see the sky!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some think the long stretches of land in Oklahoma, where you can see from horizon to horizon, is the most beautiful place to be. Some think mountains are gorgeous as they shine purple in the setting sun. Those are amazing, but my beauty is in the between land, where I get a glimpse of small mountains and a peek at the low, foggy valleys; the the sun rising over the hills and setting on the waters; the moon taking a pilgrimage across the sky before the sun is even gone from the day.
When I am not near mountains I have that opposite of claustrophobia feeling, the fear of open spaces, agoraphobia. Not exactly a fear! I appreciate the awesomeness and openness, but I crave my mountains and valleys. It is where my heart is, my home is; where mountains and valleys meet. This is beauty in it's fullest degree and this is home to me.