I grew up in Iowa, next to a lake that was surrounded by woods.
The memory that always sticks with me is coming home at sunset in winter. Sometimes it was the whole postcard; a bright red sky with purples and yellows. But what I remember more is when it was a purely utilitarian sunset. Just an orange smudge on the horizon with a gray sky over gray ice.
For me, that still defines natural beauty. I remember ice skating in twilight, or walking through crunching snow seeing the televisions and dinners through house windows. It was a brutal, indifferent kind of beauty, surrounded by empty trees. You could feel the dry cold against your skin like needles and the sky looked like a giant steel lid growing darker as it shut.
I genuinely miss this.
I don’t think you should trust memories. Least of all the good ones. But I still long for teenage defiance I felt being alive in such a dead world.
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