A few miles west of Troy, Highway 36 breaks out of the broad winding turns and low hills, opens into a big curve at the top of the ridge. You can see for miles there, a big sky holding over all those acres of corn and beans and patches of trees. There’s a long, winding line of willows and cottonwood running along the river where the Wolf makes its way toward the Missouri. Given enough time between rains, the river will turn clear enough to see into though never clear enough to tempt you to drink from it.
There’s a different sort of refreshing, though, in the sight of that valley as you come down the slope from either ridge. Those slopes stretch down about a mile from east or west and the flat of the bottoms adds another mile with the bridge pretty much in the middle.
On some autumn mornings, you can see the fog’s forming above the valley from a few miles away. Sometimes it’s just a general sort of mist, some vague gray melding into land and sky. Other days, it seems so well defined and definite that you wonder if it was cut from some higher source and laid in place. On such days as that, it forms a long smooth ribbon hanging above the river, holding between heaven and earth like an angel sent with some sweet message but cautious not to touch the dirt from which we are made.
We drive beneath it, grateful for its beauty beneath the vast blue sky and wishing we could walk upon it, no longer bound by this flesh, no longer rooted to the longings of the world.
Until that day of Change and Freedom, we give thanks for such blessings as this and remember that there is more than fog and sky above us.