Midday, in midsummer in Wisconsin, is a breathtaking parade of green.

For fun I tried to count, one day, the shades of green I could see looking up from my backyard deck.

I soon gave up.

It’s a complex result of shadow and sun, photosynthesis, and foliage variety, that’s fun to try to quantify. But there’s just too many shades to count.

It got me thinking about differences and how much of an amazing variety – of everything – there is in the world.

There are people who can’t imagine living outside an urban area, with its all-night restaurants and entertainment options, taxi and pedestrian bustle, trains whirring above and below.

There are people who can’t imagine living outside a suburban area, with its tidy new subdivisions, smattering of fast food, youth soccer complexes and commuter traffic an easy distance from work.

And then there are those of us who can’t imagine living outside a rural area, with our wide night skies, tiny and beloved downtowns, livestock odors and heavy tree canopies. Little summer fairs and outdoor concerts that draw just enough people to make them fun. Community suppers in the park and the one shaded bench where you can enjoy an ice cream cone from the one place in town that sells ice cream. Summer programs at the one library. And long walks on the sole wooded trail, bugs and all.

Life has its own color here. It’s why I stay.

Others pick something different. They’re welcome to that – and I’m happy to visit them.

And then to return home.

Where I can lay on my deck and decompress and – try to — count the endless shades of green above me

Happy midsummer.

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