The drive to Newcomerstown on Saturday morning was lovely. The sun was warm and the farther east I traveled, the more the scenery changed from the flat land of Franklin County to the rolling hills of Coshocton and Tuscarawas Counties.
These are the hills I grew up admiring, the endless acres and perfectly straight rows of corn "high as an elephant's eye" waving their tasseled heads at me, the dense foliage of the forests covering every hill that isn't farmland, old twisted oak trees with trunks as big around as a house dotting front yards and open fields, their greener than green leaves shuddering in the breeze, the muddy river meandering alongside the freeway with trees leaning toward it creating a covered canal, a tunnel of shade.
I love this place, this land that God created with such obvious joy and wild abandon.
I love the quietness of the car, the hush of the wind rushing past the windows, the memories these trees and fields and all the smells bring back to me.
I love this drive.
I love where this drive takes me.
It's the way home to my memories, my childhood, my friends, which are all so sweet and precious to me that I hold them too close.
And this drive is the way home to my mom and dad, the beginning and the end of everything. Keepers of my past and encouragers of my future. They are my inspiration, my comfort, my anchors, my pride. They are the place where my smile is easy and my laugh is loud.
They are home to me.