I grew up in eastern South Dakota. Two of the things I have always loved about that place are the vast skies and the way the tall grass on the open prairie ripples like waves on a lake, tossed by the nearly incessant wind. Squint a little and you can see the past, into a time before the towns, the highways, the wire and post fences and the yellow squares of lamplight signalling home existed. When there are no houses or buildings around to distract you from your smallness, you get a sense of proportion that is a gentle reminder of our true size in this incomprehensibly enormous universe. One can get a unique kind of clarity experiencing the wide open.
When I was young, I couldn’t wait to get away from the home where it seemed like there was nothing but earth and sky and judgment. I rushed off to experience noise and activity and possibility. Now, saturated with noise and activity, and grieving the crushing death of many of those possibilities, I fantasize about building myself a little cabin off the grid on a small rise in the middle of as much empty as I can find. I long for a place in the openness between earth and sky, where I might quietly wait to see what possibilities clarity can bring.