God gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each, one spot should prove
Beloved over all.
Rudyard Kipling may have said it, but he took the words right out of my mouth! Sitting here at the computer, looking at my screen saver of a field of wheat blowing in the wind under a perfect, blue North Dakota sky, I am stricken with homesickness for my place that is beloved over all others.
As a military family, Don and I lived in over 20 houses or apartments that we called home. We lived in twelve states that we called home and set up housekeeping in two foreign countries that we called home. And they were home at the time. But in each of those places it was inevitable that one day…no matter how wonderful where we lived was… I would be reminded of how very much I missed my real home… the place beloved over all others on earth.
My husband, who is as crazy about North Dakota as I am, doesn’t know it, but I have a little jar of soil from our farm sitting on a bookshelf in our library (hidden by books of course). I have little gravel rocks from the road to our farm scattered on my plants so I can touch them whenever I water. He would probably consider that excessively weird…but nevertheless, understandable. It gives me such joy to have that physical presence nearby. We always gladly went where the military sent us, but always left just a little part of us in the prairie and took just a little bit of the prairie along with us.
So, you might ask, why am I living in Illinois and dreaming of somewhere else? Age. Pure and simple, we are no longer energized by the thought of 30 degree below winters and 2 month long summers. So, we do the next best thing…we live in a temperate climate and we go home whenever we can. But that’s getting harder and harder as our families leave us for their true home in heaven and we have fewer reasons to make that twenty hour drive North. Brothers and a sister beckon, but so does California where our grandchildren live and the dollars only go so far.
But, as ever, God is good. He gives us the treasure chest of memory where we can feel the wind and smell the soil and feel free under His glorious sky. We can taste Grandma’s rhubard pie and touch the sweet face of a beloved Aunt and search for four leaf clovers in the Dunn’s backyard. I was blessed to grow up in an almost perfect place—my one spot—and for that I will always be grateful.