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Headin' West: Day 3

It is beautiful to discover our wings and learn how to fly; flight is a beautiful process.  But then to rest on the wings of God as He flies:  this is divine.  C. JoyBell C.

We got back on the road after staying the night in Laramie, Wyoming . . . next stop, Nebraska!

Once we made it to Gothenburg, we stopped for fuel and spotted a small museum in the corner of the parking lot at the service station.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I spotted my first buffalo in the field next to the Sod House Museum.  The museum was housed in a red barn, with a dirt-and-grass structure standing in the field behind it.  A covered wagon and windmill made the entrance curiously inviting.

While my husband was filling up the tank, I walked over to the field to have a closer look!  My husband joined me, and we took a quick tour of the museum.  The structure had a doorway that opened up into the field where the buffalo and the sod house were located.

The museum curator greeted us with a smile and gave us a little history of the sod house and the family that built the museum.  The sod house is actually an authentic replica, built in the same manner as the early settlers would have built it.  Our tour guide was quite knowledgeable regarding the culture at the time this type of dwelling would have been built.

She shared a story about the bird cage that hung beside the door of the "soddy".  That story touched my soul on a deeply spiritual level.

When the early pioneers settled out west in the late 1800's, times were tough.  Timber was a scarce resource.  In order to build the roof, door and windows, the settlers had to purchase lumber off the train passing through town.  Sometimes they had to travel for days to reach a train stop.

The man of the house was often gone hunting for long periods of time, leaving his wife behind to care for the home and the children.  Depression and loneliness were common issues among women.  Their husbands would purchase caged songbirds to help ease their depression.  The gift was viewed as a sign of hope.

There have been times in my life when I struggled with feeling "trapped".  I have been in abusive situations where I was isolated from society.  I was prohibited from contact with friends and family . . . and even the music, television shows, and the books I read were closely monitored.  I often felt like a caged bird.

My identification with this story was not with the housewives, but with the caged songbird.  Imagine being the responsible "cure" for someone else's loneliness to the point that you are caged and unable to do what comes naturally to you . . .

Unable to fly and enjoy the one gift that is your birthright . . . FREEDOM! 

It is beautiful to think that this housewife's husband had concern for her state-of-mind during his absence.  That he would buy her a songbird to lift her spirits, even in the face of financial adversity, is truly touching.  But even now when I look at the photos, my mind goes back to the songbird and the empty cage.

Learn to Fly,  

Please visit Headin' West on Pixels to view the complete photo gallery!

Visit the following links for more information about the museums of Gothenburg, Nebraska:


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