Ocean or Prairie View – Home Is Where You Make It

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 2 comments

beach at duskI have this picture for the background on my phone. I put it there this autumn after our trip to South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. It reminds me of home. Let me tell you why.

When I am at the ocean I have no problem waking up early. Most mornings I wake up automatically, while it is still dark. I don’t want to miss the sunrise.

Oh, I’m not necessarily waiting for that moment when the sun creeps over the edge of the horizon, although I have to admit that the first pinpoint of orange does make my heart beat faster. “Here it comes! Good morning, Sunshine!” I love sunshine.

No, the effect I like actually comes before the sunrise. It also comes just after sunset. It is the pastel phase. There is a blue, pink, peach, gray and green haze along the horizon that is just breathtaking. The colors mute together and remind of an impressionistic painting, my favorite type. As the sun comes or goes the colors continually change, but in such slow motion you hardly notice until BAM, there comes the sun. Then it changes all over again. It is incredible.

In November we were driving from Rapid City, SD to Gordon, NE. Shortly after crossing the state line the sun set. I started snapping pictures with my cell phone. It was so beautiful, there on the edge of the Sandhills. So much wide-open space. Kind of like the ocean. I flipped back through the pictures and one caught my eye. It reminded me of. . .  no, it couldn’t be. But it was. It reminded me of the ocean.

Sandhills at dusk

I stared at it. Then I knew. It was the colors. The blue, grey, pink, peach of the dusk. The brown of the winter grass contrasted with those colors and they stood out. Just like they do at the beach when they contrast with the sand along the beach.

I smiled to myself. Maybe this is one reason I feel so much at home at the ocean, even though I did not grow up anywhere near one. Maybe it is like the quote from Sarah Plain and Tall, one of my favorite movies. There she is on the prairie, thousands of miles from her beloved ocean yet she, with the help of young Caleb, discovers a similarity.

Caleb Witting: What color is the sea when it storms?

Sarah Wheaton: Blue and gray and green.

Caleb Witting: Now I know what’s missing from your drawing. Colors. Colors of the sea, blue and gray and green.

So, maybe the prairie didn’t remind me of the ocean. Maybe it’s the ocean reminding me of the prairie. Either way, either place I am, it feels like home.

And that reminds me of the words of advice Uncle Jim gave me when I married.

“Home is where you make it, Miriam.” Yes. Yes, it is.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Judy Taylor


    Thank you for this post and pictures. It is amazing how two environments that are seemingly different have so much in common. We can truly see God’s hand in our surrounding.

    I would love to be watching the ocean sunrises and sunsets with you.

    • admin

      Judy, What fun that would be! I knew they looked similar, but when I saw them in the post itself it almost took my breath away. God is the grand Creator!