After a vacation in the Colorado Rockies and returning to the flatter terrain of Kansas, I'll admit that although I was born and raised in Denver, I am thoroughly a Kansan and proud to be so.

The beauty of the Rockies is indisputable, but so also are the rolling fields in Kansas, with their varying shades of green and gold, the endless blue of the sky and the gilded sunsets that to me are unequaled even in Hawaii.

It has been a wonderful summer, hot yes, and also cool, and it has sped by like the rest of this year. As the days grow longer, colors soon will be changing. As I sit and laze on my garden bench and reflect in grateful wonder at the world we live in, I am reminded of my favorite song by Louie Armstrong:

I see trees of green, red roses too

I see 'em bloom, for me and for you

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, clouds of white

Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow, so pretty, in the sky

Are also on the faces, of people going by

I see friends shaking hands, sayin' how do you do

They're really sayin' I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow

You know their gonna learn

A whole lot more than I'll never know

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

But with all this wonder and beauty come responsibilities. We have the obligation to care for what we have been gifted with, not only for ourselves, but for our children and their childrens' children. We are "stewards" of our planet and also of each other. It is quite a responsibility as we are faced with challenges in energy, economics, ethics, and just the ability to live as creative, productive persons.

The media continues to present a bleak picture of our present situations, attempting to mold our perceptions in a stressful time. Shall we become disheartened and negative? Or shall we not take possession of our heritage of strengths which we possess?

We have been given great resources: physical, spiritual, and intellectual. Let us use them well for the good of all and in keeping with the heritage we are blessed to have received.

This reminds me of what nowadays might be an overused expression, "It is what it is." Perhaps a more constructive phrase is, "As I think, so I create" ... Yes, Louie Armstrong sang it well with "What a Wonderful World."

Ruth Moriarity, Hays, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.