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BeefTalk: Homesick

Ever Changing World Ever Changing World
The only conclusion is that many of us are homesick but have not gone anywhere.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

The world is very interesting because what we thought was the world seems to have the ability to change. The change may be dramatic or more subtle, but it does change.

Along with those changes come changes in human feelings. These changes of feelings, like all impacts on our lives, need to be noted and discussed openly. If we don’t, our mental and physical health will deteriorate. Even when the world gets better, we may not. If we are not careful, we can drift off to places we should not be.

While pondering the other day, it dawned on me that I was homesick. What was strange about that is the fact that I did not go anywhere. As I look around, I can sense the same feelings in many others. The only conclusion is that many of us are homesick but have not gone anywhere.

Our homes are changing, the environments that surround our homes are changing and many of those “end of the day” expectations are gone.

It’s always the little things, even though the big things are what make the news. Earth, wind, fire, rain, water or you name it makes the world change. We like to be in control or at least have a semblance of continuity.

Of course, the one place we expect something close to what we call normal is through our personal life, homes, family and those close to us.

Maybe it’s the same person at the restaurant counter in the morning for coffee, the fox that is raising her cubs across the road, the couple who live down the street or the old gravel truck that fixed the roads. It is our world and we expect it every morning when we wake up. However, today we are homesick.

Personally, I never will forget the day I drove away from home with my aunt and cousin to start college. The first few miles were mentally horrible. The first few weeks weren’t any better. However, the family’s voice at the end of the phone seemed to allow some reconnect, so I eventually was weaned officially, but I was homesick.

Perhaps the thought that home is always there is something we all hold onto even though we are not there.

Like yesterday, those same feelings are abounding around us today. Homes are being yanked away, land permanently disfigured and lifestyles flushed all too quickly, so there is no home because things changed.

For some, the change is quick, while prolonged for others. However, at the end of the day, the sun will set and come up tomorrow. One can look around and renew some level of appreciation as to why the Grand Canyon is so deep, how the valley in the pasture came about or how the gorge the bridge transcends came into being.

As the bridge falls into the gorge, some painful understanding evolves into acceptance of our fragility among things much mightier than we.

In the book of Daniel, one finds a young man suffering. In response, the young man who is defiant of his own unfortunate predicaments still gives thanks for the sun, moon, stars, showers, dew, winds, fire, heat, cold, chill, rain, frost, ice, snow, nights, days, light, darkness, lightning, clouds, earth, mountains, hills, everything growing, springs, seas, rivers, dolphins, water creatures, birds of the air, wild and tame animals, people, spirits and souls.

This young man’s experiences were 600 years before Christ. Almost 3,000 years later, the world remains. The world is our home, and our home still is here.

The rooms are changing, the paint is peeling, but fresh paint is on the way. With fresh paint, being homesick is not so bad. One needs to realize that the world is a big place, so we need to set aside our arrogance and control to sometimes simply give thanks for what we have.

Take a little time to think about the huge world that we have little control of. In the process, care for those who share this time.

May you find all your ear tags.

Your comments are always welcome at

For more information, contact Ringwall at 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601, or go to on the Internet.

(Ringwall is a North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock specialist and the Dickinson Research Extension Center director.)

NDSU Agriculture Communication – June 17, 2011

Source:Kris Ringwall, (701) 483-2348, ext. 103,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
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