Monday, November 24, 2008

Nature Reclaims Her Own

Michael Rustad is a native of Humboldt. Like many before and since, he left home and went out to a wider world. He shared the seeds of what Humboldt and his family gave to him, and the world today is better for it.

Mike is one of the main reasons this blog exists. He inspired me to share our mutual histories and to dig deeper to find out the histories we didn't even realize were part of our heritage.

He recently shared reflections of a very personal journey he took when up home for Humboldt's centennial...
Growing up in N.W. Minnesota, we all knew that the best hunting was east of Lancaster near the Canadian border. So, I would not be surprised if elk and wolves migrate to the Humboldt, St. Vincent area based on this story. Conflicting land uses have been a problem since Colonial times. I do not recall ever seeing either an elk or a wolves growing up. Once a moose stayed in our yard for a few weeks. The moose did not cause any problems or reveal any aggression. When I was home for the Centennial, I took a number of side-trips on back roads. The St. Vincent road which was my Dad's favorite is no longer maintained and returning to nature. I saw scores of deer very close to St. Vincent. There is a feel that the area seems to be returning to the earlier era as the area depopulates. Our own farm house and yard definitely was returning to nature with literally thousands of ticks, very ugly weeds, etc. Our farm house is returning to nature very fast. The house is entirely decimated with evidence that raccoons lived in the upstairs bedroom. It was difficult to even recognize the rooms which were kept up so well by my parents. The entire area appears to be hollowed out notwithstanding the outstanding job that was done to beautify Humboldt by its civic-minded residents. Though few in number, they showed obvious pride.
Mike's words reminds me of my own reflections of the past; how going home again is bittersweet - moving and haunting all at the same time. My family's home place is still being lived in, albeit not the family who originally bought it from my parents in 1998, but now by a single older man whom I met last summer. I'm glad he's there, and that the place is still a home. For awhile at least, it has a pardon from time's obscurity...