The exact place that word modifies has changed for me over the years. Though worn, "Home is where the heart is" is perhaps as apt a phrase as has been written on the subject. For me, "home" was the tiny map point of Socorro, New Mexico during my childhood and young adult years. In fact, it was home in my heart for all the early years of my marriage.
The location of "home" to me changed over twenty years ago and it's now a desert place. But today I want to tell you a story about going back to that boyhood home.
The closet and fastest route to my New Mexico hometown has often been U.S. Highway 60, which travels through the mountains of East Central Arizona and crosses the Continental Divide at the place where my parents met. It's a "wide spot in the road" named Pie Town, New Mexico.
I still love that old highway, with it's sparse population and often beautiful views of high mountains and vast plains. When I was was younger, though, I was attracted to a feature that helped me keep accurate track of just how far I was from "home."
You see, every mile of that road is marked by a "mile marker." It's a simple, green rectangular sign with the mile number clearly shown in white reflective paint. As you cross the state line, traveling east into New Mexico, the state border is clearly marked with "0". The next mile is "1" and so on.
Why is this important to me? It's simple. I knew that when I reached mile marker "138", I would be entering my home town.
So, I have a confession to make.
For a long, long time, I paid little attention to the beauty around me because I was busy counting mile markers. Oh, what I was missing!
I'm older now. My life is still fast-paced and I'm used to an environment with lots of things going on at once. But I try to avoid living to simply count the miles as they go by. I don't want to miss the high points on the journey.
Like the ones I will introduce to you tomorrow.
You just thought that this was a highway story.