The treetops toss up and down hypnotically. Across the highway the remnant prairie ripples, a green sea of waving bluestem and switchgrass. Occasionally a lull in the wind makes audible the raspy crow of a rooster pheasant or the clear fluting song of a Western Meadowlark. I am home on the prairie. My wife and I left the city behind yesterday for a full week (plus travel days) with my parents in their barn.
It had long been a dream of my parents’ to take an old barn and convert it into a house, a home. Four years ago, this unlikely dream suddenly became a reality for them. So it is at the spacious three-storey Barn House that I will attempt to catch up on sleep, eat well, and regain some soul-life in the coming week.
I love the country, particularly the open prairie lands of my youth. My wife and I are in the early stages of of figuring out how to move our lives to a farm of our own, leaving the city behind for good and building a quiet life of agrarian self-sufficiency. She loves trees and river valleys, so our research is focused on the south-eastern corner of this state, with its rolling hills, limestone bluffs, and dense hardwood forests (or at least the remaining vestiges thereof).
I have called that part of Minnesota home as well at some point, so I have no objection to looking there for our new home-to-be. I am confident I will fall in love again with the cool green hills. But for now there is no denying it: I love the prairie best.
So it is good to be back home. The hot prairie wind feels good in my hair, upon my face. My boy roams freely upon the sloping lawn, amidst the trees my father has planted. It is good to be in this place. Where we end up? That will be seen in due time.