the snow fell gently and silently and blanketed the grass and trees with white. it was the morning of my mother’s funeral. the weather in maryland had been unusually mild for early march. i suspect that my mom had a hand in providing such a spectacular sight on this morning of the celebration of her life and honoring of her death to this life.
although the reason for my visit was sobering (not to mention surreal – i hadn’t been in maryland in nearly twenty years), i soon found myself enjoying my surroundings. i wouldn’t have bet the farm (or even a penny) on that happening.
my last maryland years included a more-than-full-time job, fighting traffic on the infamous beltway, unhappy cars and unhappy people. i once heard a radio dj describe the east coast attitude perfectly. he said that, if you were standing in line at the 7-11, and someone else in line spoke to you, your first thought would be, “oh great, what does this guy want?!” needless to say, i wasn’t enamored of a return to my home state.
i was expecting that, even where my sister lives, far outside the beltway, would be concrete and asphalt and angry people. much to my surprise, here is what i saw:
rolling hills of green, old farmhouses, majestic tall trees, forests, cows, horses, and historic landmarks . . . all the beauty of maryland-past still exists, far outside the beltway. my sister lives in a small development surrounded by that farmland beauty.
trips to and from my hotel, ten miles away, were beautiful. i forgot all about the perception of maryland which still lived on in my head and remembered the maryland of my youth, when nearly everywhere i went held a special beauty, as did the hometown folks who lived there. many of them came to the funeral.
we couldn’t have chosen a better day for saying goodbye to mom. the snow was gone by mid-day, but had given one desert-rat a morning of peace and beauty.