Ernie watched the years go by like the signpost on the interstate.
It seems to take a long time to pass a landmark
something like Devil’s Tower in Wyoming or
Chimney Rock in Nebraska or whatever it’s called.
You see this monolith way out there on the flat horizon.
“Devil’s Tower” the sign reads, “55 miles.”
He passes the sign like the Enterprise going warp speed
and it vanishes into the past.
55 miles. The thing is 55 miles away and he can see it.
Well, it’s pretty flat out here. Flat and boring, and he’d just like to get on with it.
It’ll take almost an hour to get to it. Not that he wants to get to it.
He’s just passing by. But still, it’s some kind of goal or conquest
or something like that.
Scratchy AM radio playing because it’s the middle of nowhere.
Except there are farmhouses scattered about, so it can’t be “nowhere”
because someone lives out here.
Their lives have meaning …he supposes
…if only to make him feel more important than them, because, after all,
who would live way out here?
But the other side of Ernie wants to slow down, to pull off the interstate
and meander to one of the old weathered farmhouses.
“Hi!” I’m Ernie from Seattle where I’m happening.
And I’m like into the spiritual so I know you have a story to tell.
That’s why I pulled off the interstate. That’s why I’m here.
And they would welcome him into their lives,
because deep down inside these farmers are mystical too.
They know something. They can hear it in the wind.
They know he is lonely––that’s really why he stopped.
“This is my wife Jean and our son Jake. Susan, our eldest, is staying after school. She’s at cheerleader practice.”
Of course she is. It’s what’s happening. This is where high schools are forty miles apart––separated by county lines and cow pies. …Where cheerleading is a sign of something tremendous unfolding.
And they ask him, and he tells them about his brokerage job and that he is just taking a break from it all and then returning to his great career. And they are truly amazed and impressed, and interested.
It’s only as he watches the vanishing farmhouse in his rearview mirror
that it dawns on him they would be amazed and impressed and interested …
…if he worked at Wal-Mart
because they are amazed and impressed with life.
No one goes to therapy out here. Then again …maybe they do.
Maybe it’s when they’re on their tractors listening to the wind.
He turned off the interstate once more
To see Devil’s Tower up close.
Genesis224 is the marriage and pre-marriage ministry of Mike & Jewel Williamson.
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