So, how hard is it to come home
to the prairie
and be content
having seen
the mountains,
the rain forests,
the sea
in the Pacific Northwest?
My dear friend Debra
goes right to the heart of the matter
with her questions:
“And again we ask ourselves the question: why are we here in this spot?
AND is this the spot in which we should remain?”
Returning home
from experiencing profound beauty
takes some time,
some reflection
some perspective.

Yesterday evening
Debra called with horrible news
and when I asked what I could do,
she suggested I walk the prairie labyrinth
for her and her family.
And so I did.
It’s a fifteen-minute hike
just to get to the labyrinth,
mown into the grass atop the hill
on the other side of the big pond.
Agitated, saddened, tearful
I entered and walked the back-and-forth paths
without thinking about the walk itself.
A jillion feelings raged.
In the center,
I sat and watched Earth roll up
and hide a giant orange ball of a sun.
I petted Maizy,
who had accompanied me.
I watched the clouds moving in from the southeast,
heralding a change in the weather,
turn from gold to pink to orange.
And my heart connected
to so many
saddened and agitated
by the loss of a dear one.
I laid a cairn.
I walked out more slowly,
more peaceful,
sending love and strength
out to another farm on the prairie.

This morning
on the porch
I watched the fog roll in from the east
just as I’d watched it roll in
one evening last week at beautiful Ruby Beach
in Washington’s Olympic National Park.
It rolled across the prairie
as a neighbor stopped by
to chat
and we made note of the coming mist
and rain
and it was then I knew the answer
to Debra’s questions.
For now,
we stand in this beauty,
on this ancient ocean of prairie
because
here is the family
the natural neighborhood
the friends
that stand with us.