While Ann and I were on our road trip to see and hear Wendell Berry, we were just outside of the Bloomington area when dusk settled over us and it got downright dark.
I confessed to Ann right there in the car about how I'm afraid of driving after dark in the fall during deer season, when the hunters have the deer are scattered brained and jumpy. We each shared our strategies for spotting the beady eyes in the night and talked about the deer we and others have hit with our cars.
As my passenger, I'm sure she was relieved when we made it safely to and from Blomington without hitting a single deer.
As we were nearing home and had taken a detour through downtown Indianapolis to avoid some construction traffic, I made another confession. I often drive through a seedy part of town by myself at night to save time. She laughed.
"So you are afraid of deer, but you're not afraid to drive through the rough part of town?"
I laughed, too. It's ironic, really, that a country girl like me has turned out to have a penchant for concrete and convenience. I can't even really stay at my parents' house alone anymore because of all the outside noises that howl and moan.
My whole growing up life I wanted to leave the farm and the country and chase city dreams. I didn't even want to stay in Indiana, so I hightailed it out there. But it didn't take long for me miss the corn and the potholes and waving at my neighbors as they drove by.
When I moved to Indianapolis, I thought I was getting the best of both worlds. I thought I had moved "home" since I was close, just an hour a away. I soon learned, however, that when I stopped somewhere, I stopped short.
Sometimes I think my current life in Indianapolis is not close enough to home. But since I'm here, it's worth giving it a shot. As Wendell Berry said, "If you stop and it doesn’t seem like it’s the right place, stay and see if it can become the right place."
Perhaps I have found the right place after all.
Photo from the US National Archives. No use restrictions.