Just That Land

Right at this very moment, it’s 44 degrees in Laramie, it’s raining and that rain is expected to turn into snow by the morning and continue snowing for most of the day. I keep looking at the weather forecast for the area, noting the 18 or more inches of snow forecast for the area around Medicine Bow and I realized something. 
Yes, I just wrote that I’m stuck in Indiana. I’m stuck in the Midwest where it’s still green, even though the fall foliage is beginning to reveal itself. I’m stuck where it’s still in the mid to upper 80s. I’m stuck where there are four seasons, not the seasons of “road construction, almost winter, winter, and still winter” although three of the seasons here in Indiana could also be called “road construction.”
It’s being stuck when I came to the very hard conclusion that no matter how lovely it is here in Indiana, no matter the opportunities, it’s not where I really want to be. It’s being stuck when the drive into work through some of the small hills and low areas reminds me very much of the terrain in areas around Laramie that I love so much. It’s being stuck when you’ve got the property (currently being rained on and later to be snowed on tonight) and you can’t be there to watch the snow cover the broom, sage, and cactus plants because all that is on that property is broom, sage, and cactus. There’s no well, no electricity, no home, no kennels for the dogs, no coop for the chickens…just that land.

Just that land which holds my heart, calls to me, grounds me, allows me to recharge the spiritual batteries. Just that land which is so harsh and unforgiving and so incredibly beautiful in its stark desolation. Just that land which spreads out before the eyes and fades into the night to be illuminated by a million stars and silvered moonlight. Just that land getting ready to slumber the winter away under a mantel of white, purpled and blued in the shadows cast by the small ridges cutting through it. Just that land…
Some time ago, when I first wrote The Devil’s Own Desperado, I wrote of how much Amy had come to love the land. No matter how careful we are, a part of who we are as authors spills over into what we write. My love of Wyoming is what spilled over into Amy.
I want to go home. I don’t want to be here.

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