Monday, April 02, 2007

Jewels On the Plains

I've picked up Old Jules again. It has been well over twenty years since I read it last.

Alive and vivid the lay of the land and the culture of the people rise to meet my memory.

Through the years I've mentioned to a multitude that I grew up in Nebraska, Mirage Flats to be exact, where the old Swiss settler came to be the first in the area to put down roots. I've often been met with guffaw and groaning of how simply 'awful' it must've been . . .

"Too cold!"

"Nothing there!"
are the usual cries.

In their ignorance, like those of old who attempted to homestead but gave up too soon, they miscalculate the hardy beauty of the Niobrara river; the chokecherry bushes and plum trees.

The do not fathom the grandeur of the mystery of the mirages that occur, and the magical cities and mountains that arise from nowhere, speaking to no one, disappearing into the haze a mythical figure that never existed.

The endurance and ingenuity of a people who chose to plow the prairie; channel water to the thirsty fields; and create a life supported by crops and cattle and diligence.

This remains my home.

I've been distant from my love my entire adult life, and yet, like Old Jules' reminiscing about his Rosalie in the Old Country, I long to feel the wind on my cheek, the soil between my toes, and the blades of corn stalk rough upon my fingertips.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Remember the "NOW I KNOW" tour???? 2 Friends, 4 Kids, 8 days, in a mini-van, driving across the states from Mississippi to Nebraska - There IS something in Nebraska!! And Kansas isn't flat!!! (Apple juice ferments... changing diapers in a moving vehicle... and on, and on our memories flow, from 12-hour+[!!!] days of driving to and from) - seeing Mount Rushmore, the wild donkeys, the buffalo herd crossing the road - so many things, so many memories - such fun - with a lifetime friend.

Not a dull day in all of that - Nebraska was great! And those who haven't been there - well, you've missed out and need to get there!

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