“Each horizon, each place, holds its own evolutionary power be it the prairies, the mountains, or the marshes of Great Salt Lake. For me the nature of peace. Our task is to learn how to see it, feel it, hear it, and care for these places as our own home ground.” (Terri Tempest Williams)
Ruth and I begin today an unexpected road trip stay in the Great Plains flatlands of Wichita, Kansas. Being over 1600 miles away from South Florida, how might I transform this Wichita experience into the comforting feeling of being home? To motivate myself to achieve such an inspiration, I think of Dorothy’s Kansas wish in the famed Wizard of Oz movie that “that there’s no place like home.” She possesses the magical power at that pivotal moment in the story to go back from “The Land of Oz” to her loving family on a Kansas farm.
So I similarly set out with Ruth on two weekend mornings in distant Wichita to similarly remind myself of a home spirit that speaks to me as I choose. I notice for example how the Plains Indians of Kansas fully embrace nature’s blessings as their homeland and main source of spiritual power. Perhaps I might similarly reflect back from this Kansas stay to my happy childhood home in Akron, Ohio, frolicking freely amid its dense forest wilds. Might Wichita also means imagining again my four year dedication to academic excellence during my on-campus days at the University of South Florida. I must also consider Wichita reminders of a “home away from home” lifestyle with my loving wife from almost fifty years of global travel. So as you observe the following photographs, notice how this unpretentious town in the American Midwest seems for USFMAN the ideal spot to engage in such a home driven spirit. We’ll be traveling on our summer road trip next to Kansas City Missouri next for some juicy barbecue, Royals baseball, and jazzy blues.