Friday, August 12, 2011

The Plains

For those of you who read regularly, I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. We were on vacation. I did some reflecting, but no posting. In fact, I actively avoided technology in general. But that is another story. I will be posting some of my musing from our trip over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience.

We drove 16 hours today. Much of it was across the plains states. And yes, we chose to do this during the day.

When I talk about driving across Iowa or Nebraska, something we have done numerous times, any number of people have said to me something along the lines of “oooh, those states are soooooo boring!” I usually offer some objection to their assessments, but to no avail. I thought about those comments again today and wondered whether those people have ever paid attention to the landscape they are hurrying through. Or better yet, whether they had ever bothered to get off Interstate 80 for a slower and closer perspective.

Take Iowa. The rolling farmland, deep valleys, the miles of crops that feed our families and so many more…..it is beautiful. I never tire of driving up and down those hills, seeing the silos grouped together like monuments marking out the family farms.

 I remember the nights spent on the farms of my uncles and aunts, some of the most hospitable people you will ever meet. It was so dark at night that I could hardly see my hand in front of my face as I lay in bed. And I was scared. But my aunt would bring me a nightlight if my sister was not with me, so I wouldn’t be afraid. And my older cousins would help me catch fireflies while our parents chatted and sipped sweet iced tea in the warm, humid summer evenings. Wonderful people. Wonderful land.

And of course, I can’t imagine a bigger sky than Nebraska. The horizon stretches out endlessly. The sun begins to color the summer sky pink at 9:30 and there are still traces of pink and yellow and orange an hour and a half later. And once it finally gets dark, there are more stars than you knew existed…so close you feel like you can touch them. Its almost impossible to go to bed because it is so beautiful.

While mountains and oceans tend to get more press, it turns out that the Iowa cornfields and the Nebraska sky, not to mention the sandhills, grasses, lakes, rivers, etc., of the plains all proclaim the glory of God as much as those parts of God’s world that are often considered more spectacular….if only people will take time to notice.

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