Skimming along with the wind through America’s heartland I am impressed with the vast fields that go on as far as the eye can see, the rise and fall of the land a great ocean tide. Dotted here and there, miles in between, a single low-slung building, or two, hiccup the horizon, companioned by a modest cylindrical silo standing guard. One’s mind cannot help but drift back to those days before the land hosted such things, when peoples and animals lived and were free of solid, staid places. When sojourning was a way of life, scarce and bountiful, though muddied with those problems man still wreaks upon fellow man. Still, life was more nomadic then, for some.
The wind blows relentlessly o’er this sea of grasses, crops, and low lying trees. Now leafless this late November, crops harvested, there is a greyness to the textures of the land, the earth shades of brown, golden tones dulled. And in the midst of that ongoing landscape, those lonely dwellings.
No wonder the buildings share the surrounding gray patina. The wind has buffeted all traces of paint, sandblasting au natural. It is a wonder roofing materials hold firm in the wind, and more wind. A small motor home sits in front of an aged barn, rare evidence that this scene is of the twenty-first century. Names such as “Running Turkey Creek” conjure myriad stories in just three words.
What histories have been wrought in this wide open space? What laughter and tears in those lonely grey walls? What joys and sorrows felt in the heat of the summer sun, or the cold shoulder of a driving blizzard? No matter the temperature, it seems the wind has chosen this place to run and play.
It is obvious here that man is meant to work and toil, his task to care for the earth that was given to bless him and his descendants. And here is evidence of faithful stewardship of land well tended, cultivated, at rest now in rhythm with the seasons, a time to replenish and renew the soil so that it might produce and bring forth again. Yet no matter how hard he try there are some things man cannot control. Some things beyond his reach, his grasp, his authority. Even his best efforts show he is finite, though highly intelligent and gifted in many ways. He is, after all, still a man, a creature created. Just ask the wind.