I grew up in St. Johns and always loved this little town. Everything about it was home. When I married and moved away, I hated to go. For many years, Shane and I tried to find ways to move back to St. Johns. We got as close as we could in 2009, when we moved to Heber, AZ. We loved Heber and the people, but in December of that year we found out that Shane would no longer have work and we needed to relocate. We were devastated and unsure of where we should go next. In January of 2010, we moved to St. Johns to start again. We were thankful to have somewhere to go and somewhere to work, but we were not happy about the circumstances that led us here. After ten months of being back in St. Johns, Shane found new employment and we were once again leaving St. Johns. It wasn’t easy leaving family, but I wasn’t that sad to be leaving town. I did not have the same attachment that I’d had before. We moved our family to southern Arizona and got settled in. Everything was going well, but something did not feel right. A seemingly long six months passed and we found ourselves planning a move back to St. Johns. We did not have a reason. We did not have a plan. But we did have a will and the Lord.
This time, we knew it was where we needed to be. Still not under the best of circumstances, this time, but we made the best of it. This time, our attitudes made the difference. When this happened, things began to fall into place for us as a family. And we began to feel at home once again. We found the beauty in ourselves, our family and this wonderful town.
And now I see it everywhere.
I see the beauty in a sunny day and the clear, starry night sky. I see beauty in the green grass at the city park and gracing many lawns in the summertime. I see beauty in the home grown gardens, the potted plants and flowers, the old worn trees with faded bark. I see beauty in the rain puddles, the irrigation ditches and the rodeo grounds. I see beauty in the gently falling snow upon the Christmas lit roof and again in the trees iced with frost.
I see even more beauty in the people.
There is beauty in seeing unity in the San Juan Fiestas, the 4th of July celebrations, the Pioneer Days and the Christmas programs.Beauty in the support shown at sporting events and school plays. Beauty in the participation at the County Fair by those with amazing talent.
I see beauty in the gentle hug of a lifelong friend, and in the polite gestures given to any and all. I see beauty in the parents kissing their kids goodbye as they send them off to school. Beauty in the youth of St. Johns, watching them learn and grow. I see beauty in the teachers, coaches, examples that shape and serve our children. I see beauty in the ones that serve individually, in their church and in the community. I see beauty in the smiles, laughter and chats shared at the local watering holes. Beauty in the coming together at a wedding, or a funeral.I see beauty in the aged hands of those that mold this town. I see beauty in those who come together in joy and tragedy, smiles and tears. True beauty in the joy of human love. Yes, once I opened my eyes, my home of St. Johns is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.