Of Stars and Starts by Cateline Isely

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When we moved to Kansas, I was the opposite of what all my city friends, half a country away, expected. I was excited, looking out over the cold December prairie, waiting for the snow that, that year, blew in heavier than it had in a long time. Since that first excitement of moving, not much has changed. Even though I’m 20 years old now, it has the same draw and excitement it had before, when we moved to Cheyenne County, Kansas. I still find myself staring off as the sky fades to pink and wondering how it is anyone could ever want to be trapped in by tall towers of concrete and the acrid tang of burning tires, pollution, and the other odors of a city.

My friends from back east who come to visit find themselves drawn into the same peace and quiet that my family as learned to love. Sometimes those friends from the city bring me back to remembering what a blessing it is to be here, by stepping out of the car as we get back from the airport, three hours away, and staring, open mouthed, at the sky above “there’s stars.” Then I got to stop and look, because you just get used to stars out here, but there? I remember being without stars.

I have had a lot of adventures, traveling to different countries, living on a 46’ sail boat, and now this adventure of living on a “small” Kansas ranch, raising grass fed cattle, organic wheat, and having a herd of 9 horses to work with—all of which I wouldn’t trade for anything. Because, when you learn what it means to live out here, you learn all about the stars and starts.

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