I was among a group of people a while back when we were asked to tell a little bit about ourselves and where we were from.
One of the first people to do so, and I can’t remember where in Minnesota he was from, said he lived in God’s Country.
The very next person to introduce herself – I believe she was from northern Minnesota – said the first man must be mistaken, for she lived in God’s Country.
Now, it was simply a bit of light-hearted and good-natured ribbing, to be sure, but it got me thinking.
As I strolled through the back pasture of our family farm Saturday afternoon, camera in hand, I knew I lived in God’s Country. Yes, right here in southwest Minnesota.
Everywhere is God’s Country – just admit it. No one else could delight us with the rich blue hues of a prairie slough or the color saturation as a setting sun casts its rays over a tall patch of Big Bluestem.
Those images demand I sit for a spell and admire.
For a lot of years I dreamed of living elsewhere. I still think about it every now and then in my travels.
Just this year I told my folks I’d love to live up near Alexandria (after our July fishing expedition there); and then I wanted to move up to Grand Marais (after a September adventure there with Mom). Mostly, I’m happy wherever there is a lake, trees and space to get away from it all.
I was a bit saddened as I rode the 4-wheeler through the back pasture Saturday, thinking it would be the last time this season I’d get to explore without the fear of bullets whizzing through the neighborhood.
I imagine a nephew or two will be walking the tall grasses starting next weekend during Minnesota’s pheasant opener, and continuing right on into November, when they will hide out for the elusive big buck.
My quiet thinking place will turn into a battleground between man and beast – or man and bird, depending on the weekend.
And so, the season will change once more. The winds will blow, the snow will settle in and then, come spring, I will have my prairie playland back again. It has everything I love – water, trees and solitude.