I’d forgotten the way the wind never ceases on the prairie, but is a constant presence, sometimes droning, somethings blustering or wuthering, always trying to seek entry in the most secret crevices, the most precious nooks, always bending nature to it’s will – or if not all of nature, at least the tall grassy kind. And the tall trucky sort of non-nature, but…um….yeah.
Am writing this from the front bedroom of the farm in Wolsey, SD, population 418, and it’s been a brutal trip physically, as well as emotionally. How do you help the person you love most in the world come to terms with the knowledge that his hometown is dying, that his high-school isn’t even there anymore, and that the new building erected on the old site now holds the combined schools of two towns, and there still isn’t enough to have a football team every year?
How do you watch him realize that his family is aging, that his brother has gone three shades grayer and more weary, that his father and mother are, in fact mortal, and that yes, everything is smaller at home, not just physically, but because your horizons have been expanded and your perceptions changed?
How do you do that, and balance it with light humor, and still crack the productivity whip and make sure he’s not spending so much time drifting through memories that NOW becomes THEN?
I wish someone would tell me.
In the meantime, I’ll lie hear and listen to the comforting sound of my husband’s breathing, and the mournful keening of the wind.