Saturday, July 26, 2008

What Kansans Dream of in July!

The View Up My Driveway

When summer heats up in earnest in Kansas, the constant heat and humidity are brutal. In addition to the weather, there are chiggers, poison ivy, mosquitoes and snakes! All reasons to move as far north as possible. (Last August, I actually researched moving to Yellow Knife, Canada.)

I doubt if I will ever move away from Kansas. I have dreams of living by a beach, or in a mountain cabin, or traveling the world once I retire, but somewhere in my heart I know I will never leave Kansas.

Kansas is full of good people and they mind their own business for the most part. They are also quick to offer a hand if needed. Kansas is conservative in its politics, mostly conservative - to - moderate Republicans. Like any place, there are some notorious and embarrassing citizens. A fundamentalist school board was elected and humiliated the rest of us before the world by trying to change the science curriculum in our public schools. They wanted to teach creationism as science. They were elected because the rest of us were minding our own business. That matter is resolved, and we are all paying attention now.

It is an immense personal mystery how someone born and raised in Kansas survived with my personal world view. My personal karma must have drawn me to this place and time for some reason, but it has been difficult living here at times. I do not believe that marriage is necessary or even desirable. I am decidedly not Christian. I believe in woo-woo stuff like reincarnation, karma, ghosts, and in a conscious universe. I am a socialist liberal of the worst kind, if I believe the posted discussions in the local newspaper. I am an environmentalist, one of "them tree huggers". (I have in fact hugged a tree.) I hold few men in high esteem - they have to earn my respect. I do not believe in hunting wild animals for sport, but do not deny others - except on my own property. I believe gay people should be able to marry and have the same equality under the law as the rest of us. I fervently believe George W. Bush and his cronies should be impeached for just about everything they have done since taking office. I would have voted for Hillary Clinton. I am not a typical Kansan. I wonder what it would feel like if I lived in a place where my world view was in the majority? It would have to feel wonderful, I think.

Believe me, my politics, religion, lifestyle, philosophy and opinions make it difficult for me sometimes. But not difficult enough for me to move away. Maybe I am the human equivalent of a chigger. Maybe I am supposed to rub people the wrong way, to aggravate them into considering broadening their horizons a bit. Granted, being a human chigger is not on the same spiritual level as the Dalai Lama. But, as my friend Kenton says, "Chiggers will make you scratch yourself in public." Even chiggers serve a higher purpose.

So, while the environment is hot and humid and horrible right now - while the chiggers and snakes and poison ivy are thriving - it is nice to dream of the peace and beauty of the winter season. Everyone in Kansas can appreciate the idea of snow when it is late July.

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