Beauty is all around us in vibrant colors and diverse cultures



Journalist, environmentalist, and former governor Tom McCall wrote, “Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it, or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunity she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens.” He instituted cleaner air, a cleanup of the Willamette River, bottle recycling, and the public ownership of beaches. For Mcall, beauty and the public good are intertwined.

Preserving natural beauty is intrinsic to Oregon, revealed even in license plate backgrounds. Consider a fir tree between two mountain peaks, Crater Lake’s impossibly blue waters, the sun-dappled hills and vine rows of wine country, a rainbow-hued salmon making its way upstream, a mother gray whale and her calf cavorting in the coastal playground, Smokey the Bear reminding us to “keep Oregon green,” and an abstract color field representing our state’s vibrant and diverse culture.

License plates are reminders to engage seasonal beauty. Perhaps a drive out of the city to gawk as western larch trees turn bright yellow and orange before their needles drop. Aspen groves shimmering with gold, red, orange, and bright yellow. Shrubby vine maples with orange, yellow, and red huddle beneath enormous gold and yellow bigleaf maples. Set against the unchanging dark greens of Douglas firs, fall’s colors are even more striking.

While a drive is lovely, one finds beauty in the city, too. Red maples display crimson, scarlet, orange, and pale yellow. Pacific dogwoods and Raywood ash light up with reddish purple and purple. Paperbark maples of orange and bright red compete with pin oaks of bronze and deep red. Red oaks parade shades from pinkish, russet, to bright red. Gingkos bedazzle with luminous golden-yellow.

  • Where do you find beauty in the vibrant colors and diverse cultures around us?
  • With whom will you share that inspiration to brighten eyes and improve lives?


Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road | | 503-524-5230