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Short Returns by Dr. Juan Harrison

Short Returns by Dr. Juan Harrison
  • PublishedMay 22, 2024

Short Returns

Driving through the country on a trip to see my doctor at the VA in Bonham, I was once again reminded of my country boy roots.  Maybe it’s the smell of fresh dirt in the Spring or hay baling of the last cutting as Fall approached.  It all brings back good memories of long days, sweat, and a slower pace of life.  Taking a short trip away from the city to the countryside seems to give a momentary change of perspective as the heart beats a little slower, the blood pressure drops, as you breathe a little deeper.

Depending on where you live in the country, you’re likely to be getting a new neighbor, complete with a new house or renovation of an older one.  In general, the countryside of North Texas seems a bit more crowded.  More cars and trucks on our country roads and FM highways are heading to newly constructed dollar stores.  You may find yourself in a minor traffic jam at the four-way stop.

The Metroplex of DFW seems to keep bleeding down I-30 toward Arkansas.  Land prices rise with less availability.  Even flood plain land isn’t cheap.  More folks seem to be fleeing the city to relive earlier lives spent on a farm or hoping to begin a new chapter with less crowded conditions.  Some work from home or are willing to commute just to be able to maybe hear a coyote yelp in the pasture at night or hear the coo of the dove talking to a nearby partner on the highline wire.  Maybe a deer will cross the road.  Strangely enough a roadrunner may make an appearance out toward Birthright near Joe Bob’s store.

In a doctor’s office the other day a nurse says to me, “I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the quantity of days you have to live but the quality of them.”  I’m thinking more people may be trying to balance that concept of quality of life with how I improve mine and that of my family.

I think it was Thomas Wolfe who once wrote that we can never go home again.  Maybe he was saying you can’t recapture these carefree days of our youth, especially if you were blessed like me to grow up on a farm like ours with meadows and gullies to hide in and attack bad guys.  We may not have been rich materially, but oh how I drift back to life outside with no cell phone in my pocket, no iPad in my youthful hands.  I probably would have a mouthful of sheep showers or a strand of sour dock in my mouth.  The smells are overwhelming.  The colors are peace inducing.  The quiet flows over me as my memories find me lying on my back in a cushy meadow.  Maybe I can’t go home again, but at least in my mind I can return for a short visit if only for a little while.

By Dr. Juan Harrison




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