Thursday, March 15, 2007

Central Michigan University is the closest major landmark to where my Grandmother and Grandfather made their lives together. It is also the place that I go to find my center -- my connection to the grander scheme of things beyond the cars, the concrete, and the hustle and bustle that is the norm in Southern California.

Why Michigan? It provides a release from the ever pounding need to answer cell phones (no and/or limited reception), needlessly staring at TV for hours (only three stations since my grandma's house never had cable and was ruled by the antennae box that literally moved the antennae on the top of the house -- advanced rabbit ears), and no internet access (she still had a pulse phone line the one that makes the sound like it used to when they still had phones that truly DIALED numbers).

Literally connecting with the earth and watching the cycle of life, especially the crops literally growing in front of your eyes -- my version of paradise! To hear the birds, sit in front of the fan and read, ponder, write, play solitaire and do the daily routine of common meals and washing and putting away dishes -- heaven.

I wonder where I will find that now that the center is gone. Sure, I still have relatives in Michigan, but not a place near the lands that created me and has given me my main roots. When I am back in the places where the elders still pretty much refer to the plots of land with the original land deed owners (aka the Smith Place, the Getchell Farm) and where people still bring food when someone is sick and/or in the hospital, and they listen to scanners so they know how to help their neighbors --- I feel a sense of belonging that I get no where else. It is a connection stronger than even family -- it is where I began and when I am there, both physically and mentally (I have learned how to leave the stress at the last big airport before the smaller one that usually is accessed by a 30 seater plane), and where I know what makes sense.

It is not a place to hide -- you face who you are, what you are, and how you live your live in a much more forthright manner. No hiding behind facades, phone calls, schedules -- just you and mortality. How you live your life is reflected back in how you are when you are there. I have a place up in Ossineke as well, but somehow, it is not going to be the same...

Where will my heart be? In the woods and the home that came to symbolize universal, unconditional love and acceptance. Come as you are and you will be loved -- that was the motto. Check your hubris at the door and get your hands dirty doing what needs to be done. No lallygagging allowed...

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