Sunday, January 7, 2007

Coming Home

January 7, 2007

We came into Tennessee at last today after our extended New Year's weekend in Indiana. I'd like to say the infernal midwestern rain stopped and the skies cleared when we crossed the state line, but in truth it rained harder than ever. We crossed the Cumberlands in a downpour, so foggy you could just about jump out and float into the valley. Still, the thrill of crossing the state line is exhilirating with the promise of home just down one mountain, through the Ridge and Valley, and into the foothills of the Blue Ridge. The drugged stupor of a week of rain and cornfield stubble lifted like a veil at the state line. I was even happy to see the kudzu, looking deceptively dead in its winter reprieve (though I know it's dreaming evil, hungry thoughts).

Every place has its own beauty, I know. There is beauty in a winter cornfield drizzled with snow and in a child's handprint cemented in time in a city sidewalk, in the silhouette of a single leafless tree and in the piles of dirty snow shoveled along a city street. But this mountain country holds more beauty in one quick highway mile than a dozen red barns posing against an Iowa snow: the white church perched against the pines, the laurel thicket shiny in the winter woods, the clean white sycamore stretching its arms, the clouds wisping across the mountain, taking their own sweet southern time.

It is good to be home.

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