I didn’t grow up with an ocean view or easy access to a large body of water. Indiana is a land full of fields – corn, soybeans, winter wheat, alfalfa, and more. The fact that I never saw the ocean until after high school didn’t bother me. I always felt a little bit like Sarah from “Sarah, Plain and Tall”. When she moved to the Midwest and left her ocean-side home in Maine, she pined for the sea and dunes. But when she looked out at the fields of her farming home and saw the “rolling waves of grain”, her homesickness abated.
I love this photo of my sister Valerie – isn’t she beautiful?
A large field really is like the sea – the vast expanse ripples with the blowing wind and the mist rising over it all. You might not be able to surf on it or paddle through it, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. If you’ve never seen a field at twilight with fireflies glowing above it and the sound of crickets in the background, then you’re missing out.
The above photo was taken by my mother. It’s one of the fields that they own and rent to a local farmer. This was the view from my bedroom window. Some years it was corn and other years soybeans. I’m not sure which is my favorite. When we moved to Boston and were surrounded by trees and rocks, I struggled. The first time I saw an actual cornfield near our home, I made Chris stop the car. It was literally one of those, “Stop the car! Stop the car!!!” moments, nearly scaring my husband half to death. I made him drive up and down the road and around the corner so I could just soak it in.
Being in New Zealand means that I get to see lots of the ocean and gorgeous vistas of hills and mountains. It’s absolutely beautiful, but nothing compares to the Midwest.