Decidedly not Alaska.

This photo was taken in Wayne County, Ohio.
I grew up not far from here and this was the view from the back yard of the home of an old friend I stopped to visit. We have remained friends over the years and still occasionally keep in touch. She's a grandmother now.

Though it isn't the stark and wild beauty of Alaska, the mid-west has a beauty of a different sort and all its own and no less magnificent in its way.

Lately I have been re-reading a book I was fortunate to read at a much younger point in my life, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. He was arguably one of the last great Roman emperors. His meditations still ring true and reflect the stoic philosophy he was reared in and adhered to throughout his life.

"It was my tutor who dissuaded me from patronizing Green or Blue* at the races, or Light or Heavy** in the ring; and encouraged me not to be afraid of work, to be sparing in my wants, attend to my own needs, mind my own business, and never listen to gossip."

* The colors of the rival charioteers in the Circus. Roman enthusiasm for these races was  unbounded; successful drivers earned large fortunes and became popular idols.

** In one form of gladiatorial combat (the Thracian) the opponents were armed with light round bucklers; in the another (the Samite) they carried heavy oblong shields.

Still rings true today...