Saturday, December 26, 2009
In Defense of the Prairies
Today we drove hundreds of miles across the prairies of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. It was as we were going through Iowa that I tuned into the beauty around me. Many of my sophisticated urbanite friends (and probably some relatives) find a trip like this boring and ..... well, very boring. "Nothing to look at," they say, "It's just too barren." Let me tell you what I saw today. I saw thousands of acres of rich farmland hidden beneath a thick blanket of snow. Snow that will melt and water the earth. Water the earth that will produce food to feed us all. Or produce grasses and grains to feed the animals that will feed us all. Dotted along the highway I saw roads leading up to cozy homes. Homes with houses, barns, sheds, garages, large yards, and acres to call their own. Homes that brought back memories of the days when I lived in a place like that. I saw trees barren of leaves, but clothed in a thin layer of ice that glittered in the sunlight, as if they were made of glass. As we drove by I noticed one of the glass trees had a lone bird perched on a glass branch. I saw trees that were coated in frost, each branch and twig pure white. For several miles, along the roadside, I saw snowdrifts that looked like the wave of the ocean coming to shore. Boring and barren? Not so much. We just need to open our eyes and understand the cycles of nature that gives us all life. And where else can you stretch your soul from horizon to horizon, with nothing to obstruct the view or to restrict the feeling of freedom?