Copyright © 2011 by Ralph Couey
*Somerset, PA Daily American
October 29, 2011
as "Farewell Somerset County
*Johnstown, PA Tribune-Democrat
October 30, 2011
as "Farewell, my friends; a new chapter is beginning"
If there is one constant in the universe, it’s that change is the only constant. If you watch the night skies long enough, even the universe changes.
Human life is fluid and dynamic; never static. We seek stability; the comfort of routine and familiarity. But like a hungry predator, change lurks; crouched and ready to spring when we least expect it. I’ve been its prey many times. But then I’ve always been drawn to the far horizon. I’ve never “put down roots” no matter how inviting the soil. For me, there was always another place to go, another life to live. But for the last seven years, this place has been my home.
The exigencies of politics in a city 3 hours distant ignited a chain of events that has once again set loose the predator. In a few days, I will leave this place for another. A page has turned; a chapter has closed.
Seven years ago, Cheryl and I left
and came here. I’d never been to Missouri before and really didn’t know what to expect. There were only three things I knew about the Keystone State: The Steelers, Willie Stargell, and Ben Franklin. Pennsylvania
In the years since, I’ve come to love this place. The natural beauty of the Laurel Highlands in all its moods, from high summer to the depths of winter, touched the poet
within me. I found solace in the cool of the forests and the streams that murmured their secrets as I walked along their banks. With my motorcycle, I found thrills in the winding mountain roads tracing landscapes vibrant with life.