Through my travels over the years I’ve seen some beautiful sights, been exposed to a variety of situations and cultures, had some exceptional experiences, and a few I’m happy to say are behind me and not ahead.
This past weekend I had the good fortune of spending time with a life-long friend of mine. This is a photo I took on the drive back home–though neither this picture nor any words of mine could do justice to the colors of the sky and the smells of the grassland in the rain as I came upon this little shower passing over the Sandhills.
When I lived in California and people found out I was from Nebraska I’d frequently hear: “Nebraska? I drove through there once–pretty bleak; nothing but flat fields of corn.” And that’s mostly true of what one sees from I-80 along the southern border down Kansas way. And I suppose even the Sandhills, to a foreigner’s eyes, might seem a lonely and desolate land. Ahh, but to one familiar with the multitudes in her ecology…the wetlands of the meadows; the avian and aquatic life among the cattails and reeds of the marshes, the delicate balance of a vast variety of prairie grasses–their histories rooted far deeper than our own to the graceful slopes of the sand-bound valleys and hills of those high plains.
The older I get, the more I love going back home. And I suppose we’re all like that. The places and spaces and acquaintances of our youth are somehow bound tighter and closer in our hearts and minds than any other. Is it because we were so much more impressionable then that our later experiences seem pale and less solid? Perhaps the shift is more within than without. Maybe the difference is, as children, we lived more passionately, a little less fearfully, a bit more honestly with ourselves, and a lot less worried about all the people and things over which we had no control.
It was great weekend. Went to a James Taylor concert in Rapid City. Visited family and friends that have known me forever; have seen me through it all: the fire and rain, the sunshine and pain, the wandering years, and the journey I’ve been on finding my way back home.