When you live on The Plains, nothing much breaks up the horizon. A few obstinate trees, a wind-beaten farmhouse, a sacred mountain. You tend to focus outward, using these to measure the distance between the current location and whatever dreamland lies beyond.
Yet, like the Native American tribes who visit Bear Butte, or Mato Paha, to make spiritual offerings, coming here is a type of pilgrimage.
I’ve just been home for the third time in a year, and find myself paying more attention to the South Dakota soil I’ve left repeatedly behind.
Maybe next visit, I’ll tie a strip of yellow cloth to some sturdy landmark and let it flutter like my thoughts, until I return Home for good.