Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Favorite time of the year!

Driving around Saipan this time of the year is a visual feast, everywhere you look it's an explosion of color. The flame trees are in full bloom, and this year seems to be a banner year for them, and the majority of the trees are covered in their orange flowering blossoms. This particular flame tree is one of my favorites, it is located on the side of Beach Road, right by the old tank at the end of Quartermaster Road.

While it might be true that there are quite a few things that can be frustrating about Saipan, there are also some things that are just absolutely spectacular, like the scenery. Every time I get in my truck and drive around, I'm just blown away by the incredible natural beauty surrounding me. I never get tired of it, and I try to never take it for granted. After growing up in Michigan, and living the better part of my life there, I was already used to some pretty awesome scenery in northern Michigan, but I have to say, it paled in comparison to this.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the challenges and frustrations that we don't take time to stop and smell the roses, or the fragrant plumeria in our case. This beautiful bougainvillea plant is on the side of my driveway, so it's what greets me as I come home every night. If you can't appreciate something like that, you obviously haven't spent months on end in Michigan when everything is brown, or brown covered in white. The trees, the grass, the plants, pretty much everything goes dormant in the winter and turns a depressing shade of brown. That is covered up occasionally by white snow, which gives everything a clean fresh look. But you won't see much green, just a lot of brown.

We have beautiful green plants year round, and colorful flowers year round as well. I know it never hurts to remind myself of what a beautiful place we live in, and I'm guessing it won't hurt to remind you either. Next time you go for a drive, take a look at all the amazing sights, the ocean view along Beach Road and all the flame trees, the thousands of coconut palms on the backside of the island, and the banana plants that seem to grow just about everywhere.

I understand that those that were born here and who have lived their entire lives here might think that the rest of the world is a very attractive place, and they can't wait to leave here and explore it. But I would urge you, try to appreciate what you have while you have it. My son at one point couldn't wait to get off this island either, but after being gone a few years I think he would do almost anything to be able to come back for a while. We are living in a tropical paradise, sure it has it's problems, but it also has a lot of very big advantages to it as well. Stop on the way home tonight and smell a plumeria!