Some time in 1990, I discovered Louis L’Amour and his books. Over the years I managed to build a significant collection of his titles, but the centrepiece is: The Sackett series.
It was just after my first major surgery, for ACL tear on my right knee, a surgery that effectively put paid to my fledgling but promising futures in athletics, soccer, and dance. I found myself restricted to home with limited movement and muscle building exercises for close to two months. I was 19 at that time. The Sackett series was just what I needed to take my mind off my troubles.
The stories were captivating as were the olden-day values that one still finds in rural towns across the world. But it was the description of the people and American landscape that stayed with me. Like a mental image of a land and its people.
Years later in 2007, I found myself in the United States of America, in Texas- visiting Dallas, Fort Worth, and Wilmington to be precise. It was a two week trip, working with instructors, pilots, aircraft engineers and instructional designers – my first intimate interaction with Americans in America. And I found the men and women I met exactly how I had expected them to be: gregarious, generous, direct, upstanding, affectionate, welcoming, open-minded, with great family values.
And I found the land as I had expected it to be: green, and brown and stretching endlessly under one huge endless blue sky.
In the decade after that, I travelled to the US several times, to Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, but mostly to Orlando. And I found more of the same values and the same openness everywhere I went.
The sky is different beyond every bend, every hill, every breath and yet it is the same: Vast, peaceful, strong.
People are different in every region, every nation, every continent and yet they are the same: Open, affectionate, welcoming.
Good Morning World. We all live under the same sun. And we always find what we go looking for.