Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The gleaming candlelight, still shining bright through the sycamores for me.

When I was a kid I'd tromp through the fields to play in the creek with my brothers. It wasn't nearly big enough to swim in, so we chased bugs and looked for minnows, followed deer tracks along the banks, made mud castles and used crawdad towers for turrets. Years later my mom informed me it wasn't really a creek, it was a drainage ditch.

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Yesterday I got a call for help from MacGyver that concluded in me cancelling social plans and driving an hour and a half through southern Indiana to pick him up from a job site. I was almost cranky about it. Then I wasn't. I filled my gas tank, bought a diet root beer, tucked my road atlas into the passenger seat like a security blanket, and I was off.

I have lived in Indiana my entire life. My choice to stay here is based entirely on proximity to friends and family. I have visited 35 states and four foreign countries, and there are many places that far surpass Indiana in many ways. As I drove to my true love I really looked at the scenery and the small towns, I really tried to see.

I passed barns with the commandments painted across the broad sides, storage units with second-hand children's toys strewn about, baseball games played in the haze and humidity, kids on hand-me-down bikes in packs, floppy-eared black dogs with their heads held high with the knowledge they are loved.

Indiana is not a beautiful state in the same way that California or Colorado is beautiful. We don't have mountains or ocean views or nice weather. I think the beauty is in the tenacity of the people who live here, and in the loving eye of the beholder. Yes, the vast corn rows smack of factory farming, but those verdant fields are still oh-so-easy to gaze upon. I've driven through these little towns when the economy was stronger, and now the buildings are worse for wear, but they still stand. Indiana is a comfortable state for me, I know what to expect and I know how to look for my own fun. I know how to appreciate the fireflies and distant thunderstorms and phantom-white sycamores lining a mud-brown river. I know how to feel at home.

3 comments:

EvilDucky77 said...

:)

velocibadgergirl said...

Awesome. My floppy-eared black dog thinks so, too <3

norahs1213 said...

No fair...you're just making me want to move back. Not that Ohio is much different from Indiana, except for the whole friends thing. But, that was a beautiful post, nonetheless.