Peaceful Waters

The hard crunch of gravel. The almost electric buzz of heat on the windows. Watching the prairie slip past as if nothing has changed. The wheat grows. The cattle roam. John Prine on the radio singing of Lake Marie. You don’t know the song, but you know it, you’d sing along with the chorus if you heard it. Whoa – oh – oh – oh – oh.

That’s what every day feels like, the peculiar discomfort of knowing and not. Scratching the surface, then marveling at the scab. We watch the world shift but it’s all out of focus, like shadows on an old black and white set. How can we be so fortunate in this small corner of the Earth and yet so brazenly indifferent to the struggles and hardships of others? Maybe if I adjust this hinterland antenna, we’ll get some clarity.

And then Logan says, “Let’s get outside.” Fresh air. Rain boots on pasture. Two small girls running through cornfields. A husband and wife really listening to the words and to each other, wondering if Prine’s troubled marriage was saved in Canada or if they caught fish instead.

In a small town nearly untouched by a devastating pandemic, you’d think we’d all share a little gratitude, a little kindness, some small acknowledgement of our good fortune. I believe I am decades, and maybe a trip to Canada, away from understanding any of this.



Still, I feel my heart overflow with these peaceful waters. The fluidity I created when I stood next to this man and chose him. The calm I experience when he demonstrates to our daughters that no matter how rough the current, life should not be navigated by fear. The knowing I get when we dive too far into the deep end but come up spluttering, laughing, and gasping at the joy of life every time. The waves crash, but this harmony keeps us afloat.

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