Monday, April 19, 2010
There's something about going home that makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Despite the six hour drive, when I see the landscape change, feel the hugs of my family, listen to their conversation, and absorb the love and laughter around me, I feel like the most blessed person on Earth.
Life moves slower in western Nebraska. Once I get off the interstate and have to slow down to 65, everything else seems to slow down, too. You pass tractors on the road, see acres and acres of cows grazing in the pastures, and find lots of cowboys and farmers around. This part of the state isn't as economically "rich" as the eastern portion of the state. With the difference in the land, farming is harder here. You have to irrigate your crops and can't count on the rain to see you through the growing season. Tough summers with hail storms, drought, and wind and tough winters with snow, ice, and blizzards make it difficult to keep a positive attitude about farming. My family has had their share of storms - weather-related and financially-related - when it comes to farming, but it's only made us tougher.
You see that toughness in the residents, too. Their faces reveal it in the lines and cracks around their eyes. But there is joy, too. Joy in a life spent working hard and reaping the rewards and knowing that you are building a firm foundation in your children and generations to come.
I come from that tough stock. That strength has sustained me through many of life's storms. And when I go back home, I am reminded of where I got that strength - from my family. I carry the reminder with me on the long, six-hour drive back, and into the city and its busy, crazy traffic and people living at a pace far removed from the one I just left behind. It gives me peace to know that I have a mountain of support and love standing solidly behind me, forming an unbreakable circle.
It is then that I know...I am truly blessed.