Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Have you ever thought about the definition of the word "home?"  What does that word embody to you and how does it make you feel?  Is it a tangible place, or merely a place in your heart for nostalgia and memories to reside?

Photo by Sawyer Vanden Heuvel 
Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD
Today, I have been thinking a lot about home and what that exactly means.  The city in which I currently have called home for the past 1O years has been hit hard with large amounts of rain, hail, and wind.  The damage in Sioux Falls, however, is nothing compared to where I grew up just 3O miles away. The area in which I grew up in has been left devastated from torrential storms.  Roads are washed out, levies have broken flooding area towns and destroying many homes and livelihoods.  The destruction is heartbreaking.   I will always feel a special connection to those country roads, open skies, cow filled pastures, and rural communities.  After all, the landscape of my childhood and some of the dearest memories and people in my life have come from this beautiful community.

Remembering When
Photo by M-Kopter Aerials
NW Iowa Flooding
To see the place in which I spent my childhood completely ravaged by mother nature makes my heart sink, and it makes me homesick. What am I homesick for? The house I grew up in? The good people that cultivated my growing years?  The expansive sky that seemed so full of limitless possibility? A time when my life seemed simpler?  A time when I was healthier and took each day for granted? All of the above?

Photo by M-Kopter Aerials - NW Iowa Flooding

It's been almost 1O years since I have last seen my childhood home, but I could still walk it with my eyes closed.  I can still hear the way the ceiling would creak when it was windy, feel the carpet between my toes, and the sound of baseball games across the road.  I can see my childhood dog waiting for me at the top of the stairs as I get home from school.  There are moments I would give anything to be back in that house, even just for 1O minutes.  Is it the physical house I want to experience again? No, that's just a bunch of walls and paint.  I want to be immersed in the feelings and memories of what home represents.

My Home
Our Home, Sioux Falls, SD
Home isn't a place: it's a feeling, it's memories, it's people, it's a landscape for life.  I am so incredibly thankful for every place I have called my home and the people that have impacted me in every place.  My "home" is filled with beautiful memories, sounds, feelings, people I love, and breaths of gratitude: both past and present.

Sending all the very best thoughts and prayers to the people of NW Iowa: my heart aches for all of you.     Your willingness to pull together in this devastating time is so incredibly humbling, and it reminds me of what a great community I came from.  Breathe bravely, my dear Iowans.  Love to you all.

Take a moment today and think about what home means to you. 

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