I have returned from my vacation to Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Traveling 1500 miles magically transported me to my past again but there were new thoughts and experiences this time. My sister recently moved to a small city about fifteen miles from our hometown and I had never been to her new abode. I kept wondering why we rarely ventured there when we were kids. Northfield, Minnesota has two colleges (Carleton and St. Olaf), beautifully restored Victorian houses, and a quaint main street where the bank that was famously robbed by the Jesse James gang still stands. As I walked the wetlands behind her home each day, observing mud ducks, blue herons, and orioles, I prayed over the land of my birth that is no longer my home. I’ve read that our first years are the most formative so I bowed down to the sacred rich soil in which I was planted. Why I left is not mysterious to me anymore and yet, I hold the past and present with gentle hands. Pieces of my soul remain loyal to both.