Conventionally, beauty is to be found in nature, and that is especially true here in the Pacific Northwest, which has mountains, trees, and other jewels waiting round every corner. But a couple days ago I stepped out the office door and the afternoon winter sun was spilling between the towers and streetlamp poles and bathing the construction sites, and, well, I'm a city boy. People create beautiful things, and among the most beautiful things they create are cities.
One time when I was a kid - this would be the early Sixties - my family was flying from a vacation on Cyprus to Beirut, Lebanon, where we lived. I had the window seat and after we'd been flying for a while was kind of puzzled; it was clear but I couldn't see the Lebanese coastline. It turns out that the city was having a power failure - not that uncommon in that region at that time - and in an instant blazed into life beneath me, an endless carpet of light, light in squares but not all squares, white but not all white, outlining the mountains and seashore and me knowing that a hundred thousand eyes were welcoming the light back. Hey, that's my species, we built that.
I'll never see anything like it again.