In case you missed it Monday, I’m participating in the Writing 101 challenge this month. Thanks to Thumper, who insists he’s big enough to dispense with daily naps (he’s two, so he’s not), I went from having an afternoon to catch up on some blog-related affairs to having about an hour to catch up on everything, and this is one of the things that was left undone when I finally collapsed into bed last night. Day two’s prompt asked where I would like to go if I could be transported anywhere, and I added the extra twist of anytime because I’m not sure that Europe would count for this (but in case it does, I want to start in the west and work my way east, exploring everything on the continent). So!
If I could be transported anywhere (and anytime), I’d stay right where I am, but 150 years in the past, when our farm was first homesteaded. Back in the 1860’s, Iowa was still covered in prairie grass and, compared to today, more sparsely settled. We’re talking Little House on the Prairie-type stuff here, and I LOVED Little House on the Prairie.
Iowa today is covered in cornfields (and bean fields and hog confinements, but I’ve yet to figure out how to wax poetic about the latter of those), which are a beautiful sight in and of themselves (the fields, not the confinements). But on sunny summer days when the grass is a little too long and in need of mowing, I watch the grass waving in the breeze and wonder what it might have been like to see nothing but tall grass for miles, to eke a living from the earth in a place with temperamental weather.
I’ve heard it said that one could disappear on the prairie because the grass was so tall, but of course, one could disappear in a cornfield just as easily for the same reason. But the cornfields of today are crisscrossed with utility poles and punctuated by wind turbines and farm implements, and it’s getting harder to truly get away from it all, at least around here. The few fields where man has strayed but little, which used to provide a glimpse of what the area might have looked like decades ago, are disappearing as hog confinements and wind farms spread out, and it would be a true wonder to see the state of my backyard when it was first settled.
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