The Beauty Of Life Here

There is this sliver of time most days when the sun is pushing its way up onto the eastern horizon while the moon still smiles high in the western sky. It’s that space in the day, between night and day, that holds a type of artwork that only a Higher Power could allow.

I’ve often stopped on my way to work to gaze at this phenomenon in the sky, breathing in its stunning beauty. Living in the country allows the eyes to adjust to the darkness without the interruption of street lights.

The longer I watch, the more I have come to appreciate the handiwork of those more talented than I could ever be. On this particular day, three large deer are silhouetted against the changing hues of the pre-dawn sky. They stare back at me with curious regard. A large pine tree sits alone in the field with only birds to keep it company.

Time to move on but not before a family of raccoons skitters across the road in front of me. Squirrels also have been an issue on the road of late. One sizable fellow had a walnut in its mouth as it raced along the road, lifting its tail as it leapt in front of my car. It escaped unharmed — this time.

The turkeys have not made an appearance for a few weeks, perhaps the red fox, a regular visitor to the yard, has kept them at bay. Have not seen the coyotes either for some time, only hearing an occasional howl from across the hill.

It was one recent night that the most interesting visitor from nature was spotted off to the side of the road. A bobcat of good measure was sitting up, taking in the landscape. I guessed it may have been headed to a nearby chicken coop or was scouting the late night for one of the nests of rabbits. It was a fleeting look, but enough to remind me that there is a reason for the word wilderness to begin with “wild.”

A couple of horses in the neighbor’s field are sporting their shaggy winter look as they saunter down toward the small creek. They remind me of the boys at the teen dances in 1970 who all thought they looked like Kurt Russell with their long locks.

Despite a busier-than-ever life these days, I make it a point to stop and reflect on these things, these gifts that enrich my life: the brilliant stars against an inky black sky; the smell of the neighbor’s wood fire; the sweet mooing of the cows on top of the hill; and the warm rush of a hug from the grandchildren.

In just a few short days, we will look a new year squarely in the eye. With the turn of a page on the calendar we will be afforded another chance to start over, to renew what makes us happy and throw out that which is cluttering our lives.

We can wallow in the mistakes of the past or we can choose to make 2019 something good, positive and rewarding. My advice: put your phone down and take time to really see the good in people, places and things. They are right here waiting for you between the dark of night and light of day.

Happy New Year!

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)