Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sense of Place

I'm feeling meditative this Sunday evening.  That sort of pre-fall, end of summer reflective period we all stumble into before the cold chases us indoors around here.  In my nest we are getting back into a regular routine of school days, weekends of catching up and athletics, wash, rinse and repeat.  As much as I felt dragged back into it this evening as we drove back home across the countryside I felt strangely soothed by it.  Knowing what I have planned tomorrow, that work/school is on the agenda, that weekends now have their familiar rhythm back, is an adulthood security blanket to me.

But my meditations of late have been reflective on place more so than time.  This summer we did a bit of traveling and exploring.  I loved it.  But I love home more.  Why?  Why do I find this small-town, middle of corn/bean/wheat field, place that so many look down their noses at so wondrous?  Because it is the place that wraps its welcoming arms around me.  Everyone needs a place like that.  This afternoon I was sitting in the top row of bleachers at my nephew's 6th grade football game, looking at the parents cheering on their boys, the sun setting across acres and acres of corn, the impossibly blue skies, and felt so lucky to be there in that moment.  No place is perfect.  That I do understand.  Anywhere you choose to put down roots will have its flaws.  The key to finding bliss in your chosen (or forced for some) homeland is to find what you love about it, and love the heck out of it.  When I first arrived in Northwest Ohio I never in my wildest imagination thought I'd stay forever.  It was too flat.  It was too far removed from city life.  It was too, well, too strange to this girl who grew up steps from a few cities.  Yet here I am.  

I challenge you, my readers, to spend a little time this season of transition meditating and contemplating your own sense of place.  Some of you live exactly where you want to.  Some of you live exactly where you have to.  How do you embrace it?  How do you find your bliss in the situation where you are?  Life is too short lamenting all that is wrong with our "place." Enjoy all the beautiful flaws, quirks, and strangeness of your home place.  It will bring you such joy.

See that #44? That's my nephew! (kidding-I know you can't see him!)

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