Slim Randles is here as the first Wednesday’s Guest of 2019, and today he shares a thoughtful piece about place, more specifically our “place.” Slim is obviously very comfortable in his place. Are we? How often do we stop and take stock of what makes where we live our home?
The end of this month will mark my first full year in my new digs in the city, and I have been taking stock a lot. Wherever I live for any length of time, the deeper my roots are, and pulling those roots free is not easy. I’m still shaking the dirt from the roots I had deep in the ground on Grandma’s Ranch, and roots have yet to fully stabilize me here. But I’m working on letting that happen. It will be interesting to look back on this next January and see if my Sherman roots are stronger.
Before moving on, I have a favor to ask. My book, A Dead Tomato Plant & a Paycheck is in a cover contest at AllAuthor.com and I need folks to vote for it so it can move into the next round. If you are so inclined and would like to vote, you can do so HERE. Thanks in advance. I appreciate the author support so much.
Now, on to Slim’s essay, but first a cup of hot chocolate. It is freezing here, and in many other places, and nothing warms you better than hot chocolate. Enjoy…
The last of the geese went by the other day. The late ones. The big dark geese.
Headed south noisily.
I used to envy them, somehow. They go down there to the warm coastal areas where the jacks swim and the nights are chilly but livable this time of year. If they’re especially sensitive geese, they’ll keep going until there are mangoes and palm trees and the language of the people is Spanish.
But they cross over here in their long, languorous vees, and all we can do is look up and wonder what our lives would be like if we could go along. To fly over the farms and valleys, to coast along on the rising thermals, to sail down the long way to warmth and sand and comfort, how nice it might be.
But if we did that, we’d miss the snow, and the fire in the fireplace when the work was done in the evening. We’d miss how the snowy world looks just at dusk when the snow is an aspen-glow orange and tells us secrets it has saved for us all these years.
If we went to the winter feeding grounds, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate how splendid the spring will be with the basking rays of sun on our necks and the swelling of the buds in the fruit trees.
To truly appreciate warmth, we must first get cold, and that’s evidently a part of our lives that the geese won’t ever get to share.
Of course, they seem quite content to sail on down the southern winds to the warm places, leaving us to wrap ourselves tighter in thicker clothes and dream of sandy beaches and snorkels.
Have a good winter, geese. Eat a crab or two for me. You see, I’ll be here for you to honk at when you head north again in the spring. I’ll be right here, living in the same place. Cold or hot, windy or still, my world and my responsibilities are here, and I’ll be right here taking care of them.
It’s my way of doing things, and I’m used to it.
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Brought to you by Ol’ Max Evans, the First Thousand Years
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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at www.slimrandles.com, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.