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Monday, March 28, 2011

Iowa as I See It

I was driving home from dropping off Kahlen today. As I normally do, I had a speaker plugged into my Ipod and was listening to the movie Star Trek. (yes, just listening.) I love that movie. I can listen to it or watch it over and over. I have it on blue ray, on my computer and on my Ipod. I know, I'm a freak. It is definitely one of my very favorite  movies of all time.

I do have one thing about the movie that drives me nuts though.  The way Iowa is portrayed in the movie. It is shown as completely flat, treeless and almost barren. The movie's producers or directors have certainly never been to Iowa.

Yes, it is true, Iowa has no mountains. This does not make the state flat.  It does not make the state barren. Iowa has beautiful rolling hills, some that can be quite steep even. Ask anyone who has ever ridden on RAGBRI, a bike ride that crosses the state from the Missouri River to the Mississippi, how "flat" Iowa is. There would be no challenge in the ride if Iowa were as flat as Hollywood would like to make it.

I went a different way home today. I stopped often and took pictures. This is a tough time of year to find beauty in Iowa. The white blanket of snow melted away and the green of spring still to come.
 It is there though. You have to look for it. Iowa's beauty is subtle, quiet, and understated. It is not a slap you in the face kind of beauty like that of a majestic mountain. It is not the "hey look at me" of a ocean sunset. It is hidden, waiting to be found. You must be observant, diligent if you want to find it. It isn't going to lure you in, it has no reason to pander after your attention. If you don't want to see it, it has no use for you.

Iowa is more of the girl next door than a super model. Its beauty is friendly and inviting. It isn't going to tease you into thinking you can obtain it and then torture you with thin air.  There are flat areas, but even the mightiest mountain ranges have valleys at their bases.
Iowa's beauty is there, it is waiting to be found if you are willing to look for it. Soon it will be even more magnificent as the trees fill in with the leaves of summer. The fields will come to life with crops and prairie flowers. Still understated, still subtle, but always there.


  1. Thanks Becky. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. It did make me kinda sick though....Home sick that is.


  2. Thanks Eddie, Yeah, I get homesick, too! And I'm a lot closer than you!