As I was hiking Sunday afternoon, I glanced up to look at the sky. The clouds had cleared to reveal a robin-egg blue. I was thinking about what a nice day it was when something happened that I never expected: I was struck by the beauty of a pine tree.
Never before had I considered that there might be something lovely to see in a pine tree. Usually, my focus is on the ugly brown needles that pile up in my yard and demand that I dedicate hours of my life to raking and bagging. (Demands I tend to ignore). Or they grab my attention when the wind carries their yellow reproductive dust clouds hither and yon coating everyone I love in an icky residue. How rude. They are, like, the worst trees ever.
For a moment, however, the sight of a singular pine burst made me happy. The uniformity of the needles radiating from the center reminded me of a little pom pom or dandelion instead of a cone-grenade throwing nuisance.