Photo credit: Lori Hynnek Kids after the Clinton Day Parade- June 2009
Tonight Jens and I drove home from visiting the homeopathic doctor in Montevideo with a car full of great smelling authentic Mexican food.
It was an incredibly lush, luxurious, and verdant drive home. As I drove I could hardly keep my eyes on the road because I wanted to take in all of the beauty around me. It looked like the scene from a Grant Woods' painting of rolling green hills and white farmhouses. Cows and horses grazed in the pastures along Hwy 7. The hay is lying in windrows. It is an absolute feast of bursting life.
Since Hwy 7 is under Federal Stimulus road construction, we had to take a zig-zaggy path along gravel roads to get to Odessa Minnesota. The owner of Ellingson's Honey graciously and generously put out four hive boxes and forty frames for me to pick up on mainstreet. See--the bees have already filled up 6 large boxes and need a couple more boxes. I'm telling you - this place is just bursting out of its skin with nectar.
My heart just swells with love for this place--the big sky, the open savanna, the tree lined Minnesota River Valley, the farms, pelicans, ducks, hawks, yellow headed blackbirds, the people. On the road between Clinton and the farm I met one car and one teenage boy jogging--they both waved. That is a 100% greeting rate.
Coming Home to Clinton was the name of our town's 125th Anniversary celebration last summer. I couldn't explain why I had a catch in my throat, my eyes filled with tear for much of that weekend. Same thing happened just two weeks ago for Clinton Days. I wasn't Coming Home to Clinton- I wasn't born or raised here like all the other exiles who filled the closed off mainstreet for three days of fun, baseball, and friendship. But I realized, some months later, that Coming Home to Clinton meant finding a home, a place I intend to stay as long as I'm permitted in this life.
I wonder if I could have been this happy anywhere? We looked at farms throughout Minnesota, places like Vera and a place near Cloquet. I wonder if my heart would have felt the same anywhere. But I'm not anywhere--I'm in Big Stone County. A lovely place to live, build a life, be in a community, and to just take in all the beauty that surrounds us-- if one is fortunate enough to have learned to be mindful.