From here go east on I-90 until you cross the state line into South Dakota. Take Exit 289 and head north about 12 miles. Turn west and go 1.5 miles then head north again on 365 Avenue. Go a little over 4 miles until you reach 240th Street then turn west onto the driveway. And there you will find where I left part of my heart.
Not to sound sentimental, but I left my heart in South Dakota. No not to some animal, or activity, not even with a boy. I left it with a little over 1,000 acres of land about 14 miles north of Kimball, SD. That farm has been in some of my first memories as a child. It became even more meaningful to me when I lived there for almost a year. Maybe I am sounding sentimental, but I don't care!
I realize that there is so much of my family history in that land and that is why I could see how come Grandpa wanted to stay on the farm for as long as he could. For me, that piece of land became my sanctuary. I can't count how many times I was outside on my own, just me and God. I watched the first rays of light greet the sky in the morning. I lay out in the field gazing at the stars and feeling ever so small. My favorite was the sunsets! The sky became a canvas for God to paint every evening. It was those moments that most spoke to me. Can't describe it, you gotta go there yourself.
Oh how I miss the farm. And how empty it seemed when I was last there after the auction...no grandparents, no animals, no things that would show any activity...but it was at sunset that I took one last walk around and nothing had changed, the land was the same, it will always be the same.
Driving around I would see old farm houses deteriorating, crumbling. It hurts my heart to think that that farm will become another abandoned stead someday...but the land will stay the same...and there will still be a sunsets every evening.
I hear my "dear land calling." For I left my heart in South Dakota.
South Dakota Sunset by Badger Clark
A woman stood at her cottage door
And a traveler passed that way.
He was weary and dusty and tired of it all,
So he stopped, and she asked him to stay.
"Why do you choose this place to live?
This dusty, desolate spot
Where the sun beats down relentlessly
And the wind, when it blows, is so hot?
"The woman spoke, and her voice was low
And her eyes looked far away.
"Have you seen it when it's white with snow
On a crisp, bright winter's day?
Or when the trees are full of buds,
Or autumn leaves are falling?
These things we South Dakotans love,
For we hear our dear land calling."
Then she turned her eyes toward the west
Where a sunset swept the sky.
The traveler looked at the glorious sight
And no longer wondered why.