Finding Inner Peace

The last time I blogged I talked about the topic of finding ease in all things. Slowing things down and taking a breath to just soak it all in. When the noise and hustle of all things in life drowned out my ability to find inner peace. So I went to a place where I knew I would be able to find it. 

I visited a place near and dear to my heart. My mom's heart.

It's my mom's hometown in southern Iowa. This town used to be a mining town, and now is home to 634 people. Summers, holidays, and spring breaks would be spent visiting my grandparents--making homemade pizza or painting with my grandma or fishing down at the reservoir with my grandpa. 

Coming back to this place brings back cherished memories and walking into their home brings back the history of the good 'ol days when my two sisters and I would beg to see the bison farms or make our way to the discount Amish stores outside of town where we knew we could stock up on 30 cent chewing gum (this was within the last five years that is). 

It was an escape from the city. Where my mom knew everybody she ran into at the town square. One Casey's gas station, one school for K-12, one library, one bank, one restaurant. Life is slow here. Life is good. 
As I walk around the dirt roads around town, I notice the beauty in the remains of what used to be. The dilapidated homes, the rusting trucks and trailers, crumbling concrete...there was a life here. There was a story here. I continue to ponder the dust and debris, thoughts pop into my head like "when was the last time someone parked this school bus and left it here to see its dying days?".  

The purpose of being here was to visit family. It was also to go to a funeral. But it wasn't all sad and it wasn't all tears. It was most definitely a celebration of life. A small town turned vibrant on one of the darkest days. 

Their school was rebuilt from ruins after a tornado five years ago. As we toured the new school this weekend, my mom took a detour to visit her old classroom, her mom's classroom, and even her dad's old office. Taking steps throughout the halls made my mom become fragile, I could tell that she had a hard time with all of the memories that flooded back into her head. But this school--this town--is far from fragile. 

I see proud alumni. Proud neighbors. Homes being built. Railroad tracks being repaired. Ice cream shops being rumored. There are still plans for this place, still more life to live. 
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In seeing destruction and rubble can be built anew, there is still peace among the chaos. The trees, brush, and prairie flowers persist to embrace the old structures and sidewalk cracks. Just as there are times when I can try to find the beauty in the rubble and focus on finding inner peace within myself. 

Life goes on. 

Life grows on. 

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