“In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” so says our first reading. Highways are coming from one place, going to another, but the places were already there before we built the highways. Makes me think about cities, towns and villages – or more specifically, why they are where they are in the first place. Cities along the seacoast, more particularly, on inlets, rivers, and bays leading to the ocean make sense to me. They are places with harbors, protection from direct ocean storms, access to fresh water, and other factors. Water certainly plays a major role in locating cities – not only for drinking purposes, but for transportation and strategic control of an area. The Shawnee nation understood that. The three rivers area of western Pennsylvania was the center of the Shawnee nation. Today, we call that center Pittsburgh.