Strengths of the homeland.

DSCN4896 DSCN4899This is my homeland.  This is the state where – in January – there are only breaks in the whiteness for roads and trees.  That’s it.  Snow covers nearly everything.

Then you fly into Illinois, my second home, where brown is the prominent color of the ground for the last 30 minutes of the flight.

As much as I love Chicago, snow is necessary in winter.  It covers up the deadness, makes everything just a bit brighter, a bit more pretty until the weather warms up enough to have green plants back.

This morning, when I was in Minnesota (boy, that seems ages ago), my pastor was talking about persevering, not giving up, being strong, etc.  It struck me that it was a pertinent message to all of us who suffer through the long periods of below zero temperatures.  When everything is frozen outside, it helps to have a little spark in your soul, a little voice in the back of your mind that reminds you to keep pressing on.  I have so many friends who consider themselves wimps in wintertime… yet they still live in Minnesota and venture out when it’s cold.

I think there’s a certain added depth of character from dealing with inclement weather (I’ll be gracious and extend this to others who have to deal with severe heat, wind, or meteor showers).  Maybe I’d just like to think that since I’m one of that bunch.  But, really, there is a certain resilience and strength commonly found in extreme climates and not as commonly elsewhere.

So many reasons to be proud of my homeland.



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