What counted was how well we loved

Both of our families had ben crippled to some degree by prejudice, personal trauma, and tragedy, but in the most important ways both ranches had endured. So it wasn't what we did for a living that counted, nor what kind of china we dined on, nor what our houses looked like. Nor, in this one sense, did our skin color even matter very much. What counted most through the generations far more than any other factor, was how we treated those we loved and how well we loved That seemed the transcendent lesson or moral my search had revealed

Such beauty in my own backyard

The garden was a splendid sight, rich with life and glowing with color and greenery in the desert heat. I heard bluejays squawking and sparrows chirping near our rooftop, gazed at the white butterflies dancing amid the tomato plants pregnant with fruit, and I took a deep breath, longing to capture forever the magical moment in my mind's eye. Such beauty, such peace, I thought, right here in my own backyard.