We're not in Kansas anymore.
I was surprised by how emotional we were about our return to the sunflower state. Jeff and I were practically giddy as we approached the state line last week. We took photos of the landscape, the familiar signs, some of our favorite locations. We drove by the spot where my husband proposed to me, took the children to the church where we were wed. We went to the park where I played as a young girl; Jeff's elementary school. I strolled down the sidewalk of my hometown, marveling at how much it still felt so familiar even though much had changed.
As my husband said, that's kind of been the theme of this trip. So much (including the two of us) has changed, yet so much is the same.
We marveled at the faces we know so well. Friends dear to us for many years now. We have driven by sunflowers and lifted our faces with them to wide blue skies.
There's no sky like a Kansas sky.
When we began the journey toward the southern boundary of our home state, I felt a great sadness sweep over me. In so many ways, this place feels like home. It is so familiar, known. Here we feel the almost-palpable love of those we said goodbye to when we pulled up our roots nearly twelve years ago. The plains just feel right to me in so many ways. They suit me; they fit me.
But we're not in Kansas anymore.
We've moved on, crossed the border. We're headed to different places, to see new sights and have new experiences. So I'm choosing to keep my eyes ahead. After all... if I keep looking behind me, I might miss something amazing yet to come.