Today will take me 115 miles west to a small Minnesota town. Although I have elected the fastest route utilizing the interstate, the miles will still be long and solitary with lots and lots of green to view. These drives allow me to relax and let my mind drift to whatever topic it needs to explore.
This is the travel of my work and I find it so pleasant! Gone are the anxious feelings brought on by too much traffic, congestion and missed appointments. My days in California are behind me now.
The country roads of Iowa and Southeastern Minnesota are beautiful and peaceful; farms of rich soil and abundant produce cover the area. Sometimes the only other vehicle I encounter for hundreds of miles is a tractor. The roads are flat for the most part and run straight for many miles at a time which is almost hypnotic in a way but also cleansing for my spirit. Winter drives enchant me with the blowing and drifting snow swirling before me and the total quiet of the air; Spring and summer rains wash the dust off my car and my windshield wipers provide a syncopated soothing rhythm.
I look forward to my drives because they allow me to watch the progress of the seasons as they march through the plains. I am thankful to be in this place and able to enjoy and appreciate it.
When I was 2 or 3 I enjoyed stacking blocks and my brother enjoyed knocking them down. I learned, at that young age, how to rebuild. In my teens I allowed my desire for acceptance to leave me vulnerable to rejection. When my ego was crushed by disappointment, I learned how to rebuild my self confidence.
Each day I am provided with news that tells the story of something or someone(or community) that has been knocked down and stands at the edge of their choice to rebuild.
Today I recognize Orlando, Florida where a terrible massacre occurred yesterday in the early morning. The parents, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors touched by death and injury will have to learn to rebuild their trust that the world is still safe. In the larger community, an awareness and tolerance for our differences as human beings must begin to rebuild and strengthen.
Rebuild. We do it every day, in some way.
I’ve been watching the migration of refugees into Europe and reflecting on the movement of peoples and the changes they bring.
Being of European descent, I have always felt at home when traveling in Europe. I know that I am the outsider from America and that I don’t really fit in like a local but I try to respect the host country’s customs and enjoy the environment and culture I am visiting. I know that my ancestors brought a part of the European culture to America and used it as a foundation for building their new life.
Watching the refugees flow into Europe – and other parts of the world – reminds me that we all came from somewhere. Very few of us are indigenous. Back in our ancestral dna was an intrepid soul that felt the need to move. My husband has ancestors that moved because their family lands had already been divided out and nothing was available for the younger sons. I have Irish ancestors that moved because their lands were no longer life-sustaining. I have Eastern European ancestors that moved because of the oppression of their government. Everyone moved because they were seeking change and opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their family. I like to believe that each generation has added something to strengthen their new community.
It’s part of the movement of life and we must embrace those refugees and give them the opportunities that we all had at sometime in our lineage.
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