Some things in life are guaranteed: the sun will rise in the east, corn will grow in Illinois, and there will be construction on I57 at Kankakee.
From the wide sky over Lake Michigan, waves rolling into the shore; the sight is worth the sand blowing tiny stings into my bare skin as I cross the beach. The aftermath of storm has left a rare rip tide. I ride it out of town.
I miss the prairie.
Another wide sky, with nothing to block it except the occasional wind farm coming over the horizon. Unlike the lake’s wide sky, this one fills the pirouette– no wall of highrises behind me. An inch of landscape and a mile high sky, all the way around.
As I roll down the highway in the early bright morning, my eyes and my heart are full with my love for this landscape.
In keeping with the farmland solitude, the college town that is my destination is in that deep breath before the storm: the waiting period between summer and fall, before the cityites and suburbanites descend with their noisy, store-bought culture, forcing the eye back to ground level.
You can keep your mountains, and rolling blue hills, the picturesque, the monumental, and the grand. This land speaks to me, fills my soul and completes the circuits in my brain in a way that I can’t describe. Why do I forget this in the city, where I pretend to be like city folk, louche and sophisticated. Is anyone fooled?
I dream of returning to a place with a horizon, with the endless prairie sky, uninterrupted- no mountain, no valley, scaled by the gods.