On The Road Home

     We’re back in a place where I can look around and see the earth in a natural state.  There isn’t concrete all over and there are very few houses blocking the view of the majestic mountains that are rising up out of the flat land.  The sage bushes and scraggly grasses are a welcome sight for my sore eyes.  I was craving wide open space or at least a place where houses didn’t cover every surface in sight.  I can breathe the air and know it isn’t filled with the exhaust of a million vehicles or restaurants or factories or everyone else’s breath.  I no longer feel like I am suffocating and I have the urge to run into the open field and disappear into the great, wild, wilderness of the west.


     It’s a good feeling to know we’re heading home to the Gunflint Trail.  I ache for the quiet of a world covered in ice and snow.  I long to hear the crunch of snow beneath my feet and to see my breath as I exhale.  I want to feel the ice on my eyelashes and taste a snowflake on my tongue.  Soon I will be in my wilderness home once again.


     It’s amazing how populated some places in California are.  Every inch of space has a building on it and houses are perched in the hillsides and on cliffs overlooking the ocean.  The houses are so close together a person could lend an egg to their neighbor by reaching outside of their window to pass it to them.  Curtains are not a luxury but a necessity or you would feel like you are right in the same room with your neighbor.  Many houses have fences around their yards, bars on their windows or are located in gated communities.  Beach homes have their patio furniture and grills on their decks locked up so they aren’t stolen away.  Gone are the days of trust and privacy.


     The endless stream of vehicles on the multi-laned interstate are depressing to see.  The car pool lane that only requires two people in a vehicle is wide open while the other 5 lanes are at a stand still or suffering in stop and go traffic.  Would there be a need to build bigger highways if there was a toll for single passenger vehicles?  How many smog check stations would there need to be if only vehicles with two or more passengers could travel the roadways between 4pm and 6pm?  Would we be worrying about the ozone layer if the bigger cities in the world would just make carpooling mandatory? 


     Then there are the mansions that take up more open space just to serve as a two-week vacation retreat for one of the rich and famous.  The rooms filled with electronics, the garages filled with big toys while the space is void of human activity 50 weeks out of the year.  A pretty view of the ocean or countryside is interrupted by the need of someone to collect houses all over the country while others are losing the only one they have or worse yet are homeless.  How can a person feel good with such an exhibition of excess?


     I crave a simpler place.  Where I am not forced to walk on concrete and where my feet can touch the ground.  I long to see Lake Superior filled with fresh water and the wilderness of the Gunflint Trail.  Abby once said, “Home is wherever our family is all together.” Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”  I say, “There’s no place like my home on the Gunflint Trail when all of my family is there and home is where my heart is.”