t was eerily quiet under the Kansas sun as I stood next to a row of graves on a grassy knoll outside of Fort Larned, a preserved Indian War Era Fort somewhere off of highway 156. The wind rustled the leaves of nearby trees and caused the American flag raised high above the buildings to whip and unfurl. It was about that moment that I looked around to realize that I was completely. alone. In the middle of Kansas. And to this girl raised in the Northern Virginia suburbs of the DC metro area..... that means an ounce of rebellious freedom and a mountain of irrational fears.
I love a place where the echoes of the past can be seen and heard and felt. Where you can imagine General Custer riding up, the scouts keeping an eye on the horizon. The possibility of warriors slinking through the trees. There is also the evidence of the darkness that still lingers, the chains attached to the floor of the brick building set apart from the dining halls and lodges. This was not entirely a place where soldiers merely played card games to pass the long evenings between riding the countryside.
Finishing up the house concert leg of the trip left me a couple of days to meander the middle of America, between host homes in Kansas City, MO and Garden City, KS before arriving in Colorado Springs last night. I made a quick stop in Des Moines, Iowa to catch up with fellow School of Worship Alum, Kim, who is having a marvelous time leading worship at Hope Church. We picnicked with soup and salads from panera in their large lobby before she gave me a quick tour and ran off to a meeting. Later that day found me out in Richmond, MO to epically sing "Bob Ford" on the legend's grave...I hope to do a later post on that experience.....
I stayed the night south of Kansas City with the lovely Susan, a new friend I hope to visit again soon! And then Missouri blended into the long, open roads of Kansas..... when I got to my friend Uzzi, another School of Worship Alum, he remarked, "you know, Garden City isn't really on the way to Colorado Springs, right?" ..... I have learned that the direct route is not the way this trip will go..... it is the journey my friends, not the destination. :)
And after a beautiful night of worship, applebees, and making new friends with some Kansans....it was a rainy drive to Colorado and in the Springs. The next few days are catching up and seeing old friends, sparking some conversations, and sharing a bit of music before heading North and further west.... oh the faces and voices I have missed. Phone calls and facebook messages can never do justice to the living, breathing friend right in front of you. Lovely.