As I sit amongst the busy chatter and robust laughter in the Alpengruss Restaurant in Wakefield, Quebec this morning, my thoughts are far away with the people of North Dakota who are being impacted by the flooding. Minot’s mandatory evacuation of roughly a quarter of its population is heartbreaking. I know that there is likely nothing that I can contribute at this point to the fight even if I was there, but I cannot help but feel I should be closer to home.
I am tied to North Dakota by my heartstrings. I am not sure when that happened, but I surmise it occurred in the summer of 1997 when I first visited the state for a week. I moved to North Dakota two months later. I am now on year 14 in the state and it feels more like home than any other place has. When bad things happen in North Dakota, they wear on me. They wear on me because North Dakota is where my heart lives.
I wrote the other day about my New York attitide and the “flavor” California added to my personaility…but the heart is a different thing. What the heart holds dear is based on more complex things – commitment, understanding, endearment. My heart holds dear my adopted state of North Dakota. North Dakota has been good and gracious to me and mine. It has lifted us up and it has held us tight…it has carried us through and it has freed us to fly…it has allowed us to be who we choose to be in an environment that is grounded in what matters.
So my heart aches for my state as I sit amongst the chatter and laughter here and my thoughts and prayers are directed toward my countrymen (and women) who are fighting what has become too long and too wearing a battle. Stay strong North Dakota and above all, remember that there are hundreds of thousands just like me – folks who are perhaps far away temporarily or permanently – hoping and praying for your well-being through those heartstrings that tie them to North Dakota.
Day seven hundred and seventeen of the new forty – obla di obla da