Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Of cornfields and cars

The summer before seventh grade I was headed on vacation a day a head of my family with our friends.  We were going to Lakeside, Ohio that summer and hadn't been before.  I was travelling with our family friends and we were taking the scenic route from my childhood home to Lake Erie.  This route would take me from the familiar hills and woods of Northeast Ohio through the flatter farmland near the lake.  As we drove I remember giggling over each rise in the road with my teenaged girlfriend and how it must be the highest spot in the county.  In my young mind I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live "in the middle of nowhere" like that.  It would be torture!  How little I knew then...

I have a long drive to work.  I really do enjoy it though...it is 45 minutes of solitude in the morning when I can watch the world wake up around me, and as the school year progresses see the sun rise over the farm fields.  In the afternoon I can turn the radio up and let the day's stress melt away as I edge my way home, again passing through the fields in the afternoon light.  I choose to take the country roads over the highways, uncrowded and uncongested byways where the most traffic comes during harvest and planting times.  My commute has become almost a meditation of sorts, a part of my day that is as essential to me as breathing in and out.  I honestly look forward to that time, and don't know what I would do without it.  Of course, there are mornings when the fog is so thick I can't see the bumper in front of me, or in January and the drifts put a skim of ice all over the place and those ditches on either side of me loom deep and dark; yet I still would not trade the drive I have through the cornfields of Northwest Ohio for all the highways, bridges, tunnels, subways, trains, or taxis of the world.  So, give me the flat, "in the middle of nowhere" farmland I've grown to love; I can't imagine going back to the hills and forests of my childhood anymore!

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