It was my first time in the midwest. As I drove in, I watched the terrain of the blue ridge mountains slowly flatten until there were no hills and only fields. I remember the flat and breezy landscape, the warmth of the people I met, the cool air that seemed without boundary. There was a certain lazy ease - the rain would pass through and shower the fields for a bit before the clouds would clear again for the sun. You could look out over the horizon of yellows, oranges, a complementary straight line underneath blue and clouds, to see the rain coming down on another town off in the distance. It felt like there was so much space to breathe, that you could let each of your thoughts go and they would just get carried away on the next passing breeze.
I spent time with Hudson's family - a lavender-salve-making- mother and a ham-radio-enthusiasit-biologist dad. With my own childhood lacking the certain warmth that comes with real quality family time - it was all the more special to join in on his. We played backyard games and I watched as they shared their projects, peering in with a wistful novelty that made me wonder if I was feeling more sentimental than everybody else.
And even though it was the second leg of my own journey, it was the beginning of traveling as a pair with Hudson. I was introduced to his family, and where he spent his childhood years, before we began an expedition of our own.