If by chance I have not made clear my devotion to Ohio despite leaving its comforting embrace for snowier, goat-ier, more mountainous pastures, allow me to reaffirm to myself and to you that Ohio—my home—is a supreme gift to me; it is a place where my fondness will never wear thin. Sure, I don't care for the billboards (there is a law that forbids billboards in Vermont), and in my opinion Vermont has Ohio beat on landscape, but oh to speak of what this Midwestern home does have. I am tempted to capitalize the H in 'home' because it is a living, breathing, undulating thing that I can liken to a proper noun. In perpetuity, Home.
Returning to this place is surely something Mark or I have written about here, there, and everywhere, yet with each profession of my unwavering enthusiasm for Home, I hope to be illuminating more about myself, more about the place that grew me. I should be so lucky to tell the story of the locale, and of the people, that has made me the woman I am. And that is the purpose of this blog, really—connecting ourselves to you by writing on the authentic facets that foster Mark's and my "jointly cultivated life". This time of year is especially reflective. It is generally in these weeks that I find myself flipping through my journal and Field Notes writing pads, that I am remarking on how much we've adapted, changed course, fallen, gotten up, thrived, loved, given, received. Through all of it, Home remains. It endures. Having grown up in one place my entire life is an immense gift. As my hometown develops a well-worn patina, my love for what and who it holds seems only to brighten. On the part of these photos, I tried to form words but I'm not convinced words matter much in this case. Do you know this feeling? One of total appreciation for what is, with no need for explanation. For these people and this home, I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful.