Friday, September 21, 2018

Beyond the Green Signs

It hit me at Mile Marker 38.  Brown.  The Mile Markers where brown.  I was home.  Really and truly home.

For years I had been a wanderer in a strange land.  I drove city streets and suburban by-ways, reading blue street signs as they flashed by my window.  I deftly merged with multiple lanes of traffic and maneuvered round-abouts with ease.  For thirty years the blue and green highway markers defined my world, a world both semi-rural and urban.  A world far from the road-signs of my youth.

From time to time I would venture into the mountains where the trees grew tall and the streams ran cold and I would be come overcome with an indefinable longing.  A longing for what, I did not know.  I would drive past roads marked with numbers rather than names and grow quietly contemplative, filled with a deep yearning in my soul.  I would drive, and think, and dream, not quite knowing what caused such disquiet in my very being.

And then, last week, as I was driving home from town, I noticed Mile Marker 38.  Mile Marker 38 - almost camouflaged in the trees, in a gorgeous shade of brown.  At that moment, I knew I was home. I realized that the yearning that had plagued me for so many years was gone - it had been replaced by a deep sense of contentment - of belonging.  As I drove past Mile Marker 38, I saw another brown sign, then another, announcing Road 100 and Bear Creek Cutoff - and in that moment I knew that a longing in my soul had been realized - a longing to live where the signs are brown and the grass is green.  It was a desire to live past the green signs of the interstate and blue signs of bustling towns and sleepy hamlets.  I had had a deep longing to live where the pavement ends, where you wave at every car you pass and where the roads are announced in brown - a longing to live beyond the green signs.

Now, here I am.  And I am home.


  1. Well said. And I bet you didn't even need that sign to know what was there. It's home.

    Montana Guy

  2. I still have the green signs, but after 1.5" of rain I need 4 wheel drive to get to work and back (and am the only vehicle in the parking lot with mud on the roof)! I hope yours are better than "minimum maintenance road". Those signs are white and black around here...and you better have some ground clearance!


  3. I'm happy for you.

    I know now that I won't go home until I Go Home.

    But I'm happy for you.

  4. I remember when I came home after my time in the Corps. Our signs are green if you know where to look for them. Green, brown, white...whatever. The people, the land, the livestock, the memories. There are no words better than simply 'home'.