In the past, it has been Memorial Day that has been full of rain, not Labor Day. But, in the past, these were holidays spent in Michigan or California. This Labor Day we celebrate five miles from the Canadian border which makes it even stranger that our weather harkens from the east and the Gulf of Mexico. I am accustomed in my short sojourn in North Dakota to have weather slither down from the Gulf of Alaska.
It strange to realize that living in the middle of North America one is so influenced by what happens in the ocean waters; reminds me that there is really no independence, there is no safe place, there is no hideaway from being a planetary citizen. We are inter-dependent in all ways with those who live on other cotinents, time frames, culturally diverse settlements thousands of miles hence.
It so often feels to me like Americans lose track of their dependence and commonality with those who live in other cultures, on other continents. Perhaps my perceptions have been coloured by my own travels, but returning to the prairie where we now call our little house home and interacting with the folks who were born and raised here, I am often called to recognize that some of these residents have taken advantage of vacation time to travel across the globe while others have seldom left the county ( not country) but county of their birth. Like an ingrown toenail, these folks find pain a daily reminder of what they no longer experience, a sense of tolerance and compassion for others who have similar problems to solve and similar fiscal issues with which to contend.
Today, on the other hand, once again I feel a contentment with our chosen prairie town, a thankfulness that the farmers and oil field workers who surround us have provided the wherewithal to keep our economy moving, our children fed, and our automobiles fueled.
I am never sure that returning to America will be comfortable. Today it is!