After spending late winter and all spring as homebodies, our family decided to hit the road this afternoon. It had been far too long since we’d visited Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania. We’ve been countless times in our 25 years of marriage but never visited in June.
Heading north on the Northeast Extension away from the Philadelphia suburbs felt freeing. Driving away from the disappointment at how our school year ended served as a symbolic act. Fields of green crops and bright red barns greeted us, eventually turning into steeper hills.
As we headed up Hawk Mountain Road to the hiking trail, something yellow caught my eye. A broad stroke of golden flowers stretched out in a field on a piece of state game land. Since we’d never come by there in June, I didn’t know this was a wildflower field. I told my husband I wanted to stop on the way back down for a closer look.
After an invigorating hike and peaceful reflection at the North Lookout, we headed down the trail to the car and back down the mountain. When we pulled into the dirt parking lot where the flowers were, I drew in a breath. Waves and waves of yellow wildflowers rippled out for acres.
I’d struck gold. Fields of endless flowers are hard to come by in suburbia. I practically skipped up the dirt road to take photos. Seriously, it took my breath away. My children even paused for a quiet moment of awe.
The unexpected isn’t always unwelcome. Today reminded me of how much beauty there is to see if we are open to it. Keeping our eyes open is the first step.
Tracy is a New Jersey writer who loves Earl Grey tea, spending time outside, and painting. She lives with her husband and children in a home where birdsong and rainstorms provide the soundtrack for her creative life.