Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sausage or Meat?

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. Let me first say that I love going to our nation's capital. I find our political process very fascinating, although to many it is much like making sausage. You like the end product but many don't care to watch the making of it.

However, my limit is about four days in the Beltway. The whole time I am there, I feel like part of me is missing. What was missing became obvious to me as I pulled into my driveway late Wednesday night. I missed the open spaces, the smell of the open prairie, the sound of my animals, and the bright sparkling sky above me. D.C., while breath-taking and hypnotizing, seems harsh and man-made. It mesmerizes me, but I must say in the end it lacks the depth and soul of the heartland I call home.

I missed the people who surround me each day. Obviously, I missed the love and support of my family but I also missed the men and women I am blessed to be around each day. I enjoy the networking and connecting required to lobby but those meetings lack the depth of relationships those of us in the Midwest are used to. The norm to us are deep friendships that are cultivated over many years and deep rooted.

I suppose that is the nature of the beast in the Beltway. After all, most of the people who are involved in politics are from somewhere else. They make their way to our nation's capital to provide governance but it is not home. I guess that lack of roots is what I was missing and maybe that is what is missing in our government.

Those of us in agriculture understand having roots and being from "somewhere". We have a deep tie to our surroundings, our land, our community and a love and passion for them. While we may visit other places, there is a hole that will always seem hollow in us, until we return to our ranch and our community.

My wish for those, who are firmly entrenched in the District, is to come to my little corner of the Flint Hills. To meet the hard-working men and women who live in my hometown and then they will understand what they are missing. I get the sense that they are missing something deep inside their core. I guess what I am saying is that while sausage may be fine once in a while, meat and potatoes are what sustain us.