Missing Home

Near St. John, Kansas – cc photo by J. Delp

Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.

Kansas, Dust in the Wind

Today, I am missing home.

Missing Kansas.

Some of you might be tempted to say, “What is there to miss?”

Nothing.

But, a lot.

Stark, but overpowering beauty. Gently rolling sand hills, pastures and a lonesome aging Cottonwood. Fields of corn stalks and bright green winter wheat peeking through a dusting of snow (if you are lucky). I can feel the chill in the air and hear the rustling of the prairie grass. The air is cold and clean and the nights are unbelievable clear. Millions of glittering stars in a brilliant sky.

I can breathe in Kansas. There are wide open spaces, small towns, country roads, and places to fish. A neighbor is someone who lives two miles away. People greet you with a slight wave of the hand as you pass on the highway — whether you know them or not.

Time doesn’t seem as critical. Things slow down. A fireplace feels good. Naps feel better when it’s cold outside. It’s okay to just sit. To visit. To read.

Kansas is a place where they play high school basketball. Real basketball. In real gymnasiums. With real community. I can smell the popcorn and hardwood floors. I miss that.

Kansas is family. It’s spending time together. Fishing in our favorite places. Going for drives on dirt roads we have never driven before. Doing the dumb things we’ve been doing since we were kids and have been lucky enough to have not learned our lesson — yet.

This year, Kansas has been taken away. But not forever. Just long enough to be certain it is appreciated.

Ad Astra per Aspera. To the stars through difficulties.