They say you can never go home again, but as another song says,"You can't always get what you want, but you might get what you need." Here I have found what I need; a simpler way of living. I have found myself within the land so let it begin and end with the land... those who come back to their country roots are in a sense trailblazers. This is my journey to happiness...may it never end.
I have been thinking a lot lately on what defines "country". When I heard someone say "that's country" or "you can tell she's from the country", I was sometimes offended because the remark implied a void of either intelligence or style. Growing up "country", as I did, made me a bit of an outsider at times. Beauty had to be found or created, not bought and paid for. I seldom had new store-bought clothes. Occasionally, my older sister would make me really cool outfits in her homemaking class. These were simple dresses and pant suits that reflected the free-spirited colors and designs of the seventies, so for a little country girl, I had some pretty groovy duds. On the occasion that I could pick something out of the catalog, I always embellished it with some kind of lace,patch or bling; who can forget "bedazzlers"? As I grew older, I realized that I really didn't like department store clothing. I bought my share of department store clothes as I got older in an effort to fit in with my peers and potential employers. In conservative west Texas, the gypsy country style of clothing was not exactly catching on. I could hear remarks such as "she just doesn't know how to dress" or my favorite put-down term of endearment-"bless her heart". Being a West Texan though, you have to be like a cactus growing in the pastures, tough on the outside, but sweet and tender inside.
My hunter-gatherer instinct has become more pronounced as I age. I adore bringing the outdoors inside, and prefer old and imperfect over new and shiny . We can't just keep throwing things away-there is no Away. This sounds a lot like my mother and grandmothers who kept every button, every scrap of ribbon, they "used it up and wore it out". Being country feels pretty good, whether its in style or not. At my house, old bread goes to the birds, potato peelings go in the flower bed, and newspaper is used for cleaning windows(when I get around to it). Right now, being country is popular again; flea markets are huge, Retro is all the rage and being environmentally aware is certainly "intelligent". In the end, being "Country" is about the land...it is where it begins and where it ends.
"To everything there is season, and a time to every purpose under heaven". (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Last year about this time, the county was ablaze with wildfires, the likes of which have never been seen. In Mitchell County, at least four-five homes were lost in one night. The drought situation continued to decimate the landscape, and old-timers were recalling similarities with the drought of the fifties. Record high temperatures continued through-out the summer, crisping everything in sight. Just as promised, however, in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and purpose to everything under heaven. When I go out in our pastures now, I see green in all directions. This "river" is actually the result of a tank's spillway overflowing...Overflowing, another biblical reference"my cup runs over". In this political climate of promises made to the left and to the right, I know the only true promises are the ones God has made. Each of us can reflect upon a time when circumstances were beyond our control, and hopeless, only to see the sun rise again the next day with optimism, foreshadowing the good things to come. What about you? Have you witnessed the beauty of God's promises lately? I would love to hear.
This is from where the writing flows... or not. This office has turned out to be a favorite hang out of my teenagers as well. I literally have to run them out so that I can get some work done. Durn.. just when I think I am old enough to have a space of my own, I still have to share it. Oh well, I guess my goal of achieving a comfy, inspiring, thought provoking space has been achieved. Thanks again to Magnolia Pearl.