By MARCI PENNER
For Kansas Reflector
What would be Kansas’ best life? Well, it would be that blue and red, mask or no mask, this position or that, would all fade away and become, “How are you, my neighbor?”
No matter the outcome of the election, Kansas will still bring us:
That deep orange round orb that feathers into a profusion of pastels almost every dawn and dusk.
The low maintenance and giving nature of the unselfish prairie grasses.
Hiking and biking trails that take us close to the geography we couldn’t recall until we came upon it.
That finger wave that makes you feel pretty special, even connected, despite not knowing the mobile greeter.
The way heels fly off and boots stomp in enthusiasm for that line dance at weddings, the dance that everyone knows.
The power of temperature, light, and moisture to change the color of leaves as they escort us into a new season.
The cheers of September when it’s time for C.W. Porubsky’s perfectly-seasoned chili, and many a kitchen adds cinnamon rolls to accompany their own adaptation of this custom in a bowl.
Homemade butterscotch syrup to lavish upon those made-from-scratch pancakes at Durham’s Main Street Café.
The early morning coziness of the local cafe where the familiar coffee aroma mingles with the truths of the regulars who come in to start their day.
Dedicated linemen who will work in any condition to warm our homes again after a storm leaves us feeling powerless.
The maternal softness that the rolling and lulling hills of the Flint Hills exude.
The dainty wildflowers that can outlast the cracks of rain-starved soil.
The Western Kansas horizon so undisturbed by anything vertical, save grain elevators and wind turbines, that one can feel as insignificant as a ladybug on Big Brutus or that you are caught in something so grand that a “wow” quietly crosses your lips.
Giggles and awe from first-time summit-seekers who find that a “man on the mountain” has put his art and soul on display at Mount Sunflower, the highest point in the state.
Vestiges of our most prehistoric days when the solid earth we plant our lives on now was once a sea swirling our future round and round.
The rural mail box that brings us that handwritten note that can outdo the most prolific digital transmission.
All these things were here last week and will be here next week. If we can all be as patient as the farmer who waits for the field to dry and the rain to come, we can make it through this time together, as Kansans, as people who chose this state to find their best life.
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