An Appreciation of the Midwest

After 10 months of systematic cancelations, I traveled last week to teach at a church in Kansas.

I’ve spent the majority of my life in New York, Alaska, and California–the East and Left Coasts. Except for a few weekends here and there in Midwestern urban centers, I don’t have a lot of experience in Middle America–just enough to jest about “fly-over states” or casseroles. And while I grew up in small-town America, I could never quite fathom living so very far away from the historic edges of the country.

This weekend, I saw Kansas differently.

Maybe my emotions rose because I haven’t spent much time on a plane in 2020, or perhaps because Kansas contains a growing population of loving friends. For whatever reason, this weekend, the beauty of Kansas and her people and values caused my heart to spill over with affection. Thanks to all who welcomed me into your homes and hearts!

Geese split the sky through gusts of brisk prairie wind,
Soaring over alien crop circles of winter wheat.

Grain elevators rise like grand cathedrals,
Monuments to the gnarled hands weathered by assiduous industry.
"From the top of that one there, you can see where the earth curves." 

The red-striped horizon is cut only by leafless hickory skeletons
Awaiting the annual resurrection.

It's so flat here.

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