Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. Ibnb Battuta, a Muslim Moroccan scholar and explorer who travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history.
I’ve been “on the road” for six days exploring Nebraska (mostly the North Loup/Sandhills area) and doing research for an upcoming book of historical fiction. I’ve been Facebook (friend me!) posting photos and stories of my travels out of my joy in what I’m seeing and who I’m meeting.
—Walking the paths and entering the buildings of reconstructed Fort Hartsuff where my great grandfather was a boot maker from 1875-1877 and having, Jim, the superintendent of thirty-seven years, who helped rebuild and excavate the fort, as my guide.
—Experiencing the peace and beauty of the Sandhills and learning about the eco diversity.
—Touring a chalk mine that was discovered just before my great-grandparents arrived in the area and having an 84-year-old-woman with a walker as my expert guide.
—Meeting not one, but four women who personally knew my namesake, Mershon Smith, and learning that she was a “classy lady.”
—Meeting two families who had cabins next to mine on a ranch in the middle of the Sandhills. The fathers/husbands were originally from South Africa and offered me lamb cooked the traditional South African way over a braai (a unique style of barbecue).
—The peace and confidence that traveling alone in unknown territory brings.
Affirmation: I love the adventure of traveling.
Coaching questions: What does traveling mean to you? What would it be like to travel by yourself? Where do you want to go on your next travel adventure?
In all things in nature, there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle
Teach me good judgment. Psalm 119:66
Tomorrow, I’m on a week-long trip to Nebraska to do research for my next book, The Boot Maker’s Wife. People frequently judge Nebraska from what they see from out their car window as they cruise up I80 at 80 MPH. This is not all there is to Nebraska.
Nebraska was my first home, it’s where I grew up, it’s where my ancestors, on both sides, began their journey to make a difference. The endless horizon, the friendly people, the fields of grain, and the smell of cattle bring me joy. Even though I’ve lived away for fifty-five years, my heart is still in Nebraska.
The beauty of nature, as all things, is in the eye of the beholder. Behold the beauty of Nebraska. (Watch for my daily, “Nebraska Through My Eyes,” photos on Facebook)
Affirmation: Nature is marvelous.
Coaching questions: What do you judge from the place of limited knowledge? Where does your heart live?
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:2, The Bible
I grew up in Nebraska and I’m still a Nebraska girl at heart. Although my ancestors were country doctors, boot makers, lumberyard owners, I have a deep love and respect for the land and farmers. Prior to moving to Florida, we lived on the edge of Illinois farmland and I felt a part of the planting, sprouting, growing, harvesting seasons and saw the farmers working the fields into the night at harvest time.
Today is National Farmer’s Day and an opportunity to pay tribute to all farmers throughout American history. I have the utmost respect for our farmers in today’s highly technical yet labor intensive and unforgiving industry. Thank a farmer today for putting food on your table.
Affirmation: I appreciate farmers.
Coaching request: Take a moment to consider the food in your pantry and refrigerator and what it took to plant, grow, and harvest the wheat to make your bread. Consider the birthing of calves, gathering of eggs, or feeding of chickens. Consider the back breaking job of picking your lettuce or broccoli. Be grateful.
I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes, and possibly in the gristle of the ear lobe. Maya Angelou
I’m writing on this theme just so I can share this beautiful Maya Angelou quote. I hope you enjoy and find meaning in it. What an amazing writer! Don’t you just love “the gristle of the ear lobe”? In addition to the beautiful prose, I believe what she says is true.
After being away from “home” for over 50 years, I’m still a Nebraska Girl at heart. I yearn to have a view of the horizon from every direction, the fields of green as far as the eye can see, nearly everyone in town dressed in red on game day, farmer’s leaving their trucks running while they dash into the hardware store, dry river beds just ripe for picnics. Fortunately for this only child, motherless daughter, home was happy and didn’t leave me with “dragons under the skin”. It was a place of security, love, compassion and growth. I know I was fortunate because as I interview women, this was frequently not the case. Take time today to consider what home means/meant to you…shadows, dreams, fears and dragons included.
Affirmation: I honor my roots.
Coaching questions: What does “home” mean to you? How does your view of home affect who you are today?