August 3, 2015

Finding home away from home

Over 1,300 miles away from home and I have found pieces of my soul along the way as we have journeyed through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas.  Somewhere in waving fields of corn as far as the eye can see, in red barns and blues skies stretched wide and long, something about North Dakota feels like home.  Maybe it's because my husband feels at home here.  Maybe because we are one flesh - I am part of him and he is part of me - maybe there is part of me that is supposed to feel at home here too.  Perhaps it's God's way of tangling a couple together so intimately and deeply that when something fits for one, it can certainly fit for the other too.

But this is definitely his place, much like the crashing waves of the ocean's shore is mine.  And it's fitting for him I think.  North Dakota is much like Todd.  Quiet and calm, gentle and easy, rugged and down-to-earth.  I can literally feel a different pace of life here.  Nothing is hurried or stressful.  Things green and grow in a way that the heat of Texas' summer sun never really can.  And something about this places invites you to slow down.  I've needed that slow down.  We both have.

Today I took in a giant sunflower field.  It was nothing but pure yellow sunshine and joy as if it was created simply for me to delight in. 
I have to say - North Dakota totally gets me.
Even when we were ready to pack up and move here two years ago, me - sight unseen - it never sounded like an exciting destination or a place I would ever choose.  After all, there are so many other showy-offy places to live.  The grand mountains of Colorado Springs, the painted deserts of Arizona, the trendy, fast-paced excitement of New York City, and Florida with beaches that put my gulf coast shores to shame.  And of course Texas - there is no greater place to live than Texas.  But North Dakota?

This place has surprised me.  I wasn't expecting to fall for it and I have a little bit.  Much like I fell for Todd almost 10 years ago - I was surprised that I fell for him too.  He was different than any other man I had known, but I was drawn to him.  I still am.  Even now, in this place that feels like home to him, he feels a bit more alive and vibrant than his normal at-home-in-Texas-self. 
And I'm sure North Dakota is just trying to romance me.  It's showing off with stunningly perfect weather - 76 degrees and breezy.  The grass is so soft you could literally fall asleep in it.  And the neighborhood where his uncle lives feels like something I have read out of a story book where neighbors don't have fences and everyone grows vegetables in their back yards and goes to a family fish fry on the weekend like we did yesterday. Plus, it's summer and I'm not here during blizzard season.  Snow would not be the way to my heart.
Somewhere between the sunflower fields and evergreen tree-lined streets and taking a break from my normal routine and pace of life, I've found rest for my heart.  My mind is alive and buzzing and everywhere we have gone, I'm writing some sentence, some story, some piece of poetry in my head.  Even now, I feel as though I'm spilling over.

My soul feels at peace here.  I'm curious about how at home I feel when I'm so very, very far away from it.

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