Easier to Breathe

I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountain in the sky.

~Kris Kristofferson


I can remember when I first moved to Missouri how mountain sick I was. Missouri isn’t all bad but it is flat. At times I actually felt physically ill.  I can only describe and liken it to a panic attack of sorts. Some sort of mutated reverse claustrophobia.  As time went on it did lessen but I had never been anywhere that level before.

One day not too long after moving to Missouri, I ran an errand with a friend. We went to deliver some tools and farm equipment to her uncle who lived not too far across the state line into Kansas.

As we drove farther into Kansas, a sinking feeling enveloped me. I tried not to look at the horizon which only escalated it. It climaxed when we stopped to pee on the side of the road; middle of no where. Middle of no where was not the problem. I have logged many hours middle of no where. The issue was the lack of cover! We stopped the truck in a small dip in the highway (which was the only variance in the terrain what so ever). No trees. No hills. No bushes. No nothing.

The worst and probably only anxiety attack in my memory swooned over me when I stepped from the vehicle and stood on flatter than pancake Kansas soil. I don’t think I can ever completely explain the sensation. I was light-headed and the foremost thought in my mind was that I might actually fly off the face of the planet with the lack of anything to hold me to it. I had to fight the urge to lay flat on the ground grabbing double fistfuls of grass to secure myself to the earth. Grass that was it. All as far as the eye can see.

I did manage to resist. I stayed upright and fought the nausea. I pee’d, climbed back in the truck and concentrated on breathing the rest of the trip. And that, in a nutshell, is why I hate Kansas. I will never forget it.

This morning I sit on top of the mountain, pines soaring into the pure blue sky. The mountains fade into the distance, varying layers of green and purple, one after the other like sentries. The air is cool. The sun warms my back. I feel closer to heaven. I must be.



  1. Christy Goodwin said,

    August 22, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Oh honey I know that feeling! I lived in Kansas remember? I wasn’t sure just why I hated that state so much, but maybe it was the lack mountains. Since we are looking at moving to Belize, I guess we will just have to substitute beaches and rain forest for mountains.

  2. aunt beth said,

    August 22, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    You also thought our trees were little…..

  3. GRANNY said,

    August 22, 2010 at 7:57 PM


  4. Claudia said,

    August 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I will want to go places and the thought of the hours going through Kansas makes the trip unappealing. I have tried to figure God’s plan when making all the different terrains. I want to find the place with Mountains, pine trees, palm trees, black dirt, sand, rocks, coral, lakes, rivers and ocean beaches. You know there isn’t rock when you dig coal in Ill. so you fight mud slids, in Mo. you have to blast the rock, give your equipment a work out, to get to the coal.

    Maybe I am looking for heaven too. I didn’t know you where going through all that honey, I am sorry I was so blind.

  5. Vic said,

    August 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Being a ‘river rat’ I know the feeling lf loss you describe, too. I miss being by my childhood elements. At the same time, I have been fascinated by the history and ways of the prairie and the Ozarks. From the limited mountainous exposure I’ve experienced traveling to Utah, I think I could get hooked on the pacific northwest……instantly! Thanks for the mental pictures.

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