I’ve heard it stated “Home is where the heart is.” I believe there is real truth to this statement. However, I also believe your heart can consider more than one place to be your home.
Today I live in Topeka, KS with my beautiful family and we consider Topeka our home. But, I had the pleasure of growing up in Pawhuska, OK and it will always be my home as well. I may not physically live in Pawhuska, but it is my home.
Pawhuska is a small town, yet it brims with diversity and culture. This scantily populated community is home to the Proud members of the Osage Nation as well as people from various races and ethnicities. It is a town that caters to many walks of life and this in turn has created a unique and awesome tapestry of humanity.
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”-Maya Angelou
The physical beauty within and around Pawhuska is hard to parallel. It is located in an area of Oklahoma called “Green Country”. This name has been given because the area is filled with hills, trees, creeks, ponds, and lakes. It has a true breathtaking beauty almost year round.
Pawhuska is surrounded by enormous ranches filled with cattle, buffalo, and wild horses. The interior is like that of most small towns, containing many brick buildings that used to house thriving businesses. Today most of those brick dwellings sit empty, but they still posses a unique small town feel which whispers in your ear “Life moves a little slower here, so relax.”
People in Pawhuska are akin to folks all around the Midwest. They are tough, hardworking, full of love, and exuding with pride for their town and families. Sports play a major role in the community and bring about a great source of pride and honor.
Pawhuska is also unique in that it’s imbued with Osage Tribal Culture. This culture adds incredible value to the town itself and the people who reside there.
To me, Pawhuska is a picture of the United States in general. You see, every location in our great country has its own particular traits and its own unique beauty. The trick is this… You have to recognize and embrace those qualities.
Now let me get to the real heart of the matter. What makes Pawhuska or any place in this world “home” is not just the culture or the physical beauty. What makes a place home are the people and the memories that live there.
Each time I get to visit my hometown, I’m flooded with memories of years past and the people who impacted my life. I also take time to slow down, live in the moment, and enjoy the new memories that are being created while I’m back in my hometown and around my people.
Don’t get me wrong, Pawhuska isn’t all biscuits and gravy (that means perfect in Oklahoma lingo), but like everything else in life… your perspective determines your outlook.
I love the following quote by Maya Angelou and I see within it two simultaneous meanings:
“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”-Maya Angelou
One of the meanings I see tells me “Be at home wherever you are in this life.” The other meaning tells me “No matter where I’m at in this world, I will always long to be back home.”
You may not come from where I come from, but I believe as humans, we have the ability to connect based on the fact that we are human. I feel the Roman poet Terence said it best when he stated “I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”
So my questions for you are… Where do you call home and why is it home to you?
P.S. I encourage you to visit Pawhuska, OK and experience for yourself what I’ve just written about in this post. I suggest coming the last weekend in June and observing the Osage Tribal dances. This is an experience you’ll enjoy and think about for years. Side note: Pawhuska is hot and humid in late June, so dress light and drink plenty of water.
MamaMick Note: A HUGE thank you to Chad for opening up the Guest series and for sharing Pawhuska, OK glimpses of the Osage. Our community is so fortunate to have Chad and his wife, Laurie teaching and coaching in our school system. My son Dane often comes home with quotes and anecdotes and life lessons all learned while hanging with Coach Parks. The only thing that would have made this story better was if you could have heard Coach talk. The passion is evident in his written word and even more unquestionable when he speaks it. Be sure to check out his inspirational site at http://coachchadparks.com/
Thank you, Coach Parks!!