Recently we returned from a joy-filled visit to the place that feels most like home to the cells that lie deep at the core of my being. The transition between the arid, expansive, mind-stretching mesa to the humid, comfortable, familiar, heart of the Midwest is grand. I could never live one place without missing the other terribly. I am grateful to love two very different places so, so much.
Green. Cardinals. Tractors. The muddy Mississippi. Mucky ponds. Life oozing, creeping, flying, buzzing, slithering everywhere. Green. Rivers that are called creeks but look like rivers to my western eyes. Meadows. Parks. Big, huge, gigantic trees covered in the leaves of several other creeping plants. Green. More parks. More cardinals. Tall, tall grasses that just grow, on their own, without encouragement and prayers. Green. Thunderstorms. Tornado Sirens. Train horns. Locks and dams. Big bridges. Barges. Warm rain. Green. Pileated Woodpeckers. Hiking trails marked by cut grass. Forest canopies. A sense of the heartland. The smell of soybeans. Green. Green. Green.
Gramps playing peek-a-boo-chase with his great-grandsons.
Grams successfully indoctrinating her great-grandsons with a great love for the Mississippi.
Discussing doomsday scenarios with a wry-smiling Uncle Greg.
E-man falling in love with Aunt Lynn, the best listener of young people’s tales I’ve ever met.
Eating steak, riding four-wheelers, and talking hunting and fishing (huh????) at the Kansas City Orwigs.
Finding and enjoying common ground with everyone.
Sharing each moment of life for 11 days with my mom, and loving it.
Wishing we were all closer, but enjoying the differences that are so much about our distance.