My heart is in Ohio, where it savors the apple taste of fall, feels the frost of football season, waits for the snow of Christmas. My heart in Ohio is surrounded by loved ones, and thanks God daily for the everyday blessing of the humble Midwest life we lead, for the sheep in the barn and the demands of farm life, for the dirt on the floor and the yap of the dog, for the tiring list of home improvement projects

My heart is in New Mexico, where it stretches out on the mesas, freeing my mind to think, freeing my soul to cry for joy, freeing my mouth to taste. My heart in New Mexico aches to leave, to board the plane and return to the colorful Midwest, where trees parade colors and the ground demands more water, where those who stay must settle for weekly epistles and learn of daily growth via the Internet. My heart in New Mexico feels the call of the West, answers the tug of the unknown, climbs the mountain of marvels.

My heart is in New Orleans, where it tumbles and races, keeping up with those lively girls, and where it aches quite often, thinking of the tumbling in heaven. My heart in New Orleans tries new tastes, and thinks late at night, and swoops up to Ohio every now and again – in person or in spirit – to hug those it misses. My heart in New Orleans grows, changes, questions.

My heart is in Logan County, Ohio, where it nestles among the hills, and notices things like the color of a “just turned” wheat field in July. My heart in Logan County gets tired more quickly, but can’t resist feeding the crowd that gravitates. My heart in Logan County grows bigger as the family grows larger, and leaps to see the miracles continuing: new life! Among the fields and the colors, my heart lives until it will no more. My heart rejoices and continues to taste and see and sing.

My heart is in Chicago, where it reads as it drives and teaches others to do important things like scrub the house and drive downtown. My heart in Chicago hurts a lot, and feels lonely, and wonders about a lot of things. My heart in Chicago chases a soccer ball, serenades on a piano, thinks thoughts unwritten. My heart in Chicago mends slowly, grows bigger, waits.

My heart, Lord, is with you, and as you hold it, you call it to you. My heart, Lord, wants to be with You, even as it yearns to be with those who we can’t see often enough, who we can’t hug often enough, who we can’t miss loudly enough to bring them back to us. My heart, Lord, needs You. Hold me. Teach me to love You as You love me.