Thursday, August 18, 2011

Falling in love with Kansas

Everyday I have had moments that draw me up and make me pause, where I realize how lovely Kansas, and Topeka, is to me. Yes, everyday, often many times a day. And each reason is different from the other which leaves me in a constant state of wonder and amazement. The wave of emotion is intense, strangely intense. You see, when Mike was hearing about jobs, Kansas quickly became the state I absolutely dreaded moving to. I had reason upon reason for not moving here and I was looking at the move with some dread. After a short spring visit to scope out apartments and the landscape, I had a suspicion I might feel differently once we got here.

I just was not prepared for how much better I would feel about Kansas. These past three weeks have let us discover Gage Park. A zoo, a children’s museum, a dog park, a carousel, a mini-train, a large public pool, flower gardens, fishing ponds, and numerous playgrounds offer up so many choices that it seems the park may never get old. But the green space, wildlife, and trees are truly the best part. There are lots of spaces to be alone and explore little nooks, run and kick balls, to wander around and unwind, to picnic. Today I was struck with how we can just nearly walk out our door and be there, much like our own personal land to explore. We have been enjoying it, to the point of failing to take a camera along to capture any of it, except for my phone camera today. So we have few pictures, and not good ones at that. 

Oliver, constantly on the run (from us!)

Another special discovery was MacLennan Park. It has hiking-biking-running trails, over rolling wooded hills. Hills! Ah, visits there are bliss. This summer, I discovered a love of trail running while at Punderson State Park in Ohio. Finding these trails and plotting the next time I could get out on them made me want to jump up and down with such a thrill. Actually, I think I might have when suggesting ideas to Mike. Breaking out into sprints through these zig-zagging, dirt paths feels so refreshing, like I can conquer nearly anything. At least for the hour I am out there! And the pleasure the boys can take from seasonal walks in the woods at a moments notice is quite satisfying to a my motherly wants for my children.

Even indoor spaces are taking me surprise. Today I wandered the Topeka Library, in awe of its size, with lovely spaciousness and cozy feelings all at the same time. I got to marvel at how friendly the staff was, how easy it was to find my hard-to-find books, and how much my boys will love their selection and the coral reef fish we cannot have.

And seeing a sky like this one tonight is delicious. To me, Kansas sky seems so much more open than skies in the Midwest. The land in Kansas seems wider and more open, yet it still has many trees where we are at. It might be cresting hills everyday, opening the world up, making it a bit bigger than before.

Evening sky over MacLennan Park

I wonder if these amazements will cease, if I am idealizing too many places, events, and minute details. But surely, I cannot for everything that is making me giddy with excitement and happiness. I hope I can still get this same inner thrill (like butterflies in my stomach!) months from now over little discoveries.

1 comment:

  1. It was like that for me here! Does it feel like you are being wooed? I would be outside, hanging the laundry (!), and listening to the beautiful calls of the mockingbirds, getting heady wafts of sweet olive scent, with a clear blue sky. Revel in it--there's so much that can be hard and heartbreaking about moving cross country, it helps to feel like the new place likes having you there :)