Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pardon Me While I Get Cheesy and Touchy-Feely for a Sec

This is going in a direction I don't usually go here, so bear with me or not as you choose. I spent the last few days out of the state, and driving back home today, up I-91, I looked, as I usually do, to New Hampshire on my right. And, as I usually am, I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it is. I've been to many beautiful places, but I don't think any of them felt as right as this one. Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, in California, is breathtaking. The vastness of the mountains and canyons and sky makes you realize how very very tiny we all are, how insignificant. Western Ireland is glowing-green and soft and gorgeous in a way that makes you feel cupped and held gently. In the canyons of the San Juan river, you see the river rushing in front of you and the layered walls and the sky, a strip of vision that is always thrilling but ultimately, well, narrow.

New Hampshire has beauty in common with all of these places, but here, for me, the scale is perfect. The mountains and valleys are big enough to put me in my place, reminding me that I am small and that I should be most concerned with things bigger than myself, but they don't dwarf me, making me feel so insignificant that to try to change anything would be hopeless. The landscape is broad enough, the horizon far enough away, that I can see many things, but the mountains and trees are there for perspective, so again things don't recede into an incomprehensible vastness. I feel in place in New Hampshire, able to see where I want to go and some of how I want to get there.

It's a big task, defeating an incumbent Congressman. But we deserve better than Charlie Bass. This beautiful state deserves better than someone who gives lip service to protecting the environment but in the final analysis bends to his party leaders who see nature as something to be exploited. It is a big task, but in this landscape, in the view it gives me, I see how we can get there.

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