Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roots

Growing up on a grain farm in northern Idaho, I experienced a near perfect childhood. My parents had an enduring love for each other and to this day are each other's best friends. We were raised with a mixture of love and common sense, sprinkled with a fine balance of work and play. My grandparents on my dad's side lived nearby and played a huge role in our growing up years. We saw them several times a week, and I have fond memories of my grandpa, whom I loved dearly, driving up our gravel lane in his old green Chevy truck to pick me up for one of my regular sleepovers. My grandma would give me sherbet for dessert, and I always got to stay up way past my bedtime. My grandma on my mom's side was a school teacher in San Diego, and even though I only got to see her once or twice a year she was a huge influence in my life. The trips our family took to California to see my grandma exposed us to a world very different than the one we inhabited, and I contribute the love of travel and adventure I now have to those visits.

My parents are now retired, and due to health concerns have moved off the farm to the nearby city of Spokane. I have just returned from visiting them, and while I was there my brother John, who lives in Chicago, was able to join us for a few days. On Saturday we drove down to the farm and visited with neighbors I hadn't seen for years. We had a great time sharing stories and memories from years gone by. I have to confess though that in the midst of the laughter and reminiscing I felt a sense of sadness and loss. You see, to me the word home will always be defined by what you see in this picture.

Taken from a neighboring farm, the cluster of trees in the distance, surrounded by acres and acres of recently harvested wheat fields, is the home of both my youth and my heart. Not only is it the place where I grew up, it is the place where my dad was born. And it is the place my grandpa, recently immigrated from Denmark, established the beginnings of his new life as a farmer almost a century ago.

There is a beauty to the gently rolling hills of the Palouse that soothes my soul, and this is the time of the year that it is at its finest. By day the freshly cut wheat fields resemble carpets of gold. As nightfall settles in the smell of the stubble fields sweetens the surrounding air. Then, as darkness takes over the countryside, and with a hint of the harvest smell still lingering in the air, the stars scatter themselves across the open skies in a display that inspires both humility and awe. Truly, there is no place like home...

5 comments:

  1. Its so beautiful; I don't think I've ever seen pictures of your parent's farm before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm biased, but I think the roots you can put down in open space like that run deeper than the roots of people surrounded by asphalt and concrete.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this area (I'm south of there but it's similar in many ways). Right now it's especially beautiful too--the golden grain, the bright blue sky, and the mountains.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i would feel sad and homesick, too : / it's great that you have such fond memories of your childhood that you got to share

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so jealous you got to go out to the farm area. I love the pictures. I think that's my favorite time of year to be there.

    ReplyDelete