Finding the Splendor

The aliveness we feel and the beauty we perceive in wilderness is valuable not only in itself, on its own when we are in wild places, but also because it changes the way we see things after we leave. Instead of feeling oppressed by the ugliness so often present in civilization, we now look for the splendor. We know what is always present in wilderness is not altogether absent away from wild places. We are alive now to the first hint of beauty. We find the splendor in unlikely places. We find it in the lone juniper growing in harsh soil by the side of interstate I-17, we find it in the prickly pear cactus pushing through the cracks of some Tempe sidewalk, we find it in the woman dancing alone, eyes closed, at closing time in a Prescott bar.