I grew up on a small farm in south central Minnesota not too far from the banks of the Minnesota River. This proximity to a flowing river saved me often as I came of age, a time during which I pretty much railed against a landscape that seemed more antagonistic than nurturing; and I was certain I had been born into the wrong place, and felt homesick for a place I did not know.

I imagined that if I simply could not handle another moment of longing to be somewhere else, searching for my true home, I could build a raft, hug my parents farewell, and launch away somewhere along the river bank in Mankato, drift into the Mississippi River, let it her carry me to the Gulf of Mexico, and from there…engage the world.

I have tried out a lot of different places, and had a few chances to turn a journey into a relocation. But I returned to Minnesota, external expectations, and perceived responsibilities. Now, well into mid-life, I realize my true home was always carried within myself: a quiet, watchful center-point. And by living in a quiet, near-center-point of North America, a not-too-distant walk from that Big River that pleasures St. Paul, I am nurtured by words and art, the love of my children, and my community of creatives.

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