How Beautiful…

deae14a172c5386ef46cfb53aa765b92-640x511It was my first trip to Winnipeg, deep in the heart of the Canadian prairie. Not everyone in Manitoba lives in Winnipeg, of course—several dozen live in other towns (in Manitoba any building with more than two bathrooms is a “town”). I was slated to guest speak at a community college in the historical Mennonite community of Steinbach. A volunteer chauffer named Hempel picked me up at the airport. Hempel nestled my bags between odd bits of farm equipment in the back of his truck, and said, “All set then. Let’s head’r.” He didn’t speak another word.

I was surprised at the dearth of scenery: barely a hill or tree. Not that it lacked variety. To the contrary, there was wheat, corn, barley, oats…

“Does all of Manitoba look like this?” I asked.

“Oh, no!” Farmer Hempel guffawed. “Up north it’s all mountains and forests and waterfalls and such.”

“Ah,” I replied. “So, it’s—”

“Not pretty like here, no!” Farmer Hempel completed my sentence a tad differently than I would have. And then it struck me: to a dirt-for-blood farmer like Hempel, “pretty” meant flat, featureless land—ready to be plowed!

“No stones or trees to remove?” I asked.

“Oh, no such kerfuffle,” he confirmed. And then his eyes moistened as he added, like a man in love, “It’s perfect.”

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as the saying goes. But it never occurred to me till then that our sense of beauty is determined by what we value.

What do you find beautiful and what does it say about you? Does what you value the most need adjusting?

Or is it indeed “perfect”?

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to How Beautiful…

  1. I had an ugly kindergarten teacher back in 1944. But to me, she was beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Looks very peaceful! flightministries.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina says:

    I don’t know what to say, but I’m smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pastorpete51 says:

    No kerfluffle! I am expanding my vocabulary by one today!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Steinbach was where I was born and I lived there until the age of 12. It’s a great little town, but then, as they say, beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder. Many fond memories. Thanks for sharing this. It picked me up today!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @vapor_sage says:

    So flat you can see the postman coming for three days

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent food for thought, Mitch… You never disappoint! Blessings!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What profound insight, Mitch! Really helps to remember this wnen interacting with others whose perspectives might differ from our own. Live tge story!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    Oh, you were so wise to see the wisdom in his words. Great post, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Roos Ruse says:

    What a lovely post, Mitch. Personally I relish opportunities to drive through the rolling wheatfields hereabouts. I imagine we likely see more texture and more color. Then again, I don’t get out much.😄

    Liked by 1 person

  11. carhicks says:

    Great post Mitch, it reminds us that there is beauty everywhere, we just have to open our eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ann Coleman says:

    I remember how ugly I thought the plains of Kansas were when I first moved there from hilly Missouri. I missed all the trees and hills! But the people who lived there thought it was gorgeous, and after a while, I did too. I learned the value being able to see so much of the sky, and the ease of finding my direction when the roads were all laid out so perfectly square. And yes, it was easier for the farmers to farm the flat land. Missouri’s hills, forests and rocky terrain were not good for farmers at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      ;>) The first time I drove through western Kansas, it seemed so blah and featureless, I thought, “They didn’t film the opening of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in black and white, that’s just what color it is!” But, yeah, the plains tend to grow on you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman says:

        Oh, yeah, western Kansas is even more plain and flat! I lived in south central, which helped a bit. Still, you should check out Donkey Driver’s blog. She and her husband live and farm in that area, and she makes it sound wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. K E Garland says:

    lol yes indeed! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess. At least there are quite a few pretty colors here. I’m not sure I know what I find beautiful. I’ve never really thought about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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