I've been thinking about Spring all weekend...while I've relaxed in this little motel off a rural highway
in far Eastern South Dakota. The small town that I am in is very close to the Iowa border. And when
I reached this quiet farm town, I got the message from a friend in Oregon...
"Ruthie, you passed the recertification and you get to keep what little you have. Come on home, girl."
I was shocked to hear those words from the other side of the Country. But they came across to me
and curled into a smile in both of my ears: "You passed."
I left a man and his clipboard in an office and didn't look back. And I didn't regret that the interview
that was supposed to last for over an hour was suspended after only ten minutes.
He wanted me to prove myself...paint a portrait of justification...for why I "deserved" what little
Uncle Sam still sees fit to give me. When he asked me four different ways if I drank alcohol...I
decided that his time with me was up.
"You sanctimonious, smug, superficial detached asshole" I thought as I glanced at his face one
And then I unwound my words with a British accent and quoted John Lennon: "On behalf of the
group, I hope I passed the audition."
Then I walked straight out the front door and headed for Iowa.
The morning sun sparkled across the deep snowbanks as the Amtrak train snaked through
Glacier National Park. I looked up at a large A-Frame perched on a hill and wondered if it belonged
to singer James Taylor.
As I traveled, it became colder and colder and colder.
Now, I am thinking about tomorrow. For I will soon be on a train again...returning to where purple,
lavender and brilliant yellow crocuses are blooming again. And although it isn't perfect...I know
that the West Coast is my home. Like the first Springtime flowers in Oregon...it's where I belong.
I'm smiling. Thank you, God. I'm returning home again. I'm going home.