This—the landscape of home—would lure me back with its winds and desperate clouds and endless expanse . . .
Linda Joy Myers, Song of the Plains, A Memoir of Family, Secrets, and Silence
The map on the navigation system in the car is void of anything. There are no lines indicating roads or railway tracks; no bodies of water or parks; just a whole lot of nothing at all. We’re in the middle of nowhere
Like Navi, we don’t know where we are either. We’re driving down gravel range roads and township roads with no specific destination in mind. Now and then we pass a falling-down barn or a gaggle of shiny silver granaries; sometimes a grove of trees hiding a farmhouse; but for the most part, as far as the eye can see, there is just endless prairie.
Now and then Gerry pulls over and stops the car. The silence is loud in my ears as I step out of the car. I pause, breathe deep and slow in a way I don’t anywhere else, then pull out my camera.
I shoot roads and railway tracks and vast and endless prairie, capturing images that will feed me when we leave this place. Gravel crunches under my feet as I wander around in contented awe. The warmth of the sun embraces me, and the smell of the dust takes me way back even as it anchors me in the here and now. In all of this, I lift my camera to my eye now and then and press the shutter button.
This vastness, this unobstructed view in which I see past and present and possibility, is the sweetest sight in the world. Here, in the southern part of Saskatchewan, where it’s flat as flat can be, I look into the distance and see truth. I feel the tug of my roots growing deeper; I know the endless love of my Creator. Here, I am me.
We return to the car and set off again. We turn left, heading south, now and then; then right, heading east, some time later. We’ll end up at Highway 39 eventually, and it will take us north back toward Moose Jaw. We’re in no hurry. For now, we drink prairie and it is more than satisfying.
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Today, we resume the LLF vacation. Colour me excited.