back — and forward

I’ve been to Indiana once before. I was twelve, and from the back seats of the conversion van, it was hard to see the rolling farm country.

I’m the driver now, with a wind-shield’s-worth of view all my own, and leisure and aloneness to appreciate the charms of this slice of Americana.

Here spring comes more slowly than in Mississippi. Somehow, it’s a rest to be away from the fruitfulness of home. The thick-greenness, which seems as if it could not grow thicker and greener, but always does. The profusion of fruits and flowers and crops already knee-high.

Here the fields lie mud-brown, some bearing the stubble — still — of last year’s corn, others showing up this year’s crop in a film of pale green. The trees have not yet passed the small-leaf stage, allowing for large expanses of sky.

Last time I was in Indiana, I chiefly remember that things were difficult to find; that, among other experiences, we found ourselves driving along a college sidewalk which we had taken for a road.

Multiple times yesterday, I found myself afflicted with the need to turn around — every time I exited the interstate, in fact. I’m beginning to suspect it’s a fault in their road-planning rather than in southerners’ navigational skills.

There’s humility in turning around: I don’t have it all together. I don’t know quite where I’m going. I’m not perfect.

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Last night, I gathered with old friends to open an envelope sealed five years ago, filled with our predictions and hopes for where today would see us. Mostly, we’ve not ended up quite where we hoped and expected. Yet we find ourselves in places which are good.

There’s comfort in the later spring here. In seeing that it does not arrive simultaneously everywhere.

The dirt and flood of these fields does not mean they shall always be unfruitful, nor will their harvest be harmed by this waiting.

©2014 by Stacy Nott

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