On this given day I was filled with such a strong sense of nostalgia and could almost imagine that I was home. It was hot enough that I could smell the dryness of the earth, which is a sensory sensation that really sparks vivid memories from a particular year from my childhood when we lived on my grandmother's farm. My use of that word has probably given you a false image of the setting as it was no longer a working farm; in fact, it hadn't been used as a functioning farm in a great many years. We lived in the big, white farmhouse that sat a bit higher than the rest of the land. The yard was littered with old barns filled with disused relics of a more glorious past, a silo that had long ago lost its lid, a well and a very simple and rather sweet chicken coupe. In all actuality we didn't live far from town and the nearest neighbor lived on just the other side of an electric fence. But as a child, we might as well have been 100 miles from anywhere. And although I often played with my cousins or had friends around to keep me company, I was often on my own. I entertained myself with inventing exciting adventures and discoveries. I played close to the earth and the smell of dirt, dust, grass and years-old machine oil pervaded my olfactory senses. The oppressive heat smothered my skin and loved to feel the dry breeze brush over my face and ears as it gently found its way through my hair, occasionally whipping it across my face.
When I walk in this meadow near my present-day house, I look out at those cows roaming the fields in the distance, relishing in the sounds so reminiscent of home, and a warm peace and sublime happiness fills my whole being. In those moments I can imagine that I'm back in the beautiful prairies of Iowa - a place that will always be home to me, no matter where in the world I might live.