Today I flew to Grand Forks. Even though I spent 25 of my years in North Dakota, I had never flown into Grand Forks during the day. More importantly, I have never flown into Grand Forks in the fall.
I looked out of the window and I witnessed a patchwork of warm colors separated into acres. The mighty Red River wound through these acres. I knew North Dakota was flat, but I had yet to observe the flatness from this angle. It was flat.
For years, flat held a negative meaning when people would complain about the state. For me, I find it beautiful. That doesn't mean that I don't find mountains and hills beautiful, but flat can be just as beautiful, especially with the browns, greens, tans, and yellows. In every acre, a little spot was visible from my seat. A little farmhouse and barn created a corner for each acre, but also allowed me some imagination. I imagined what they farmed, if their farmhouse looked like my Uncle's farm, was that a gravel road.
North Dakota is not a home to many people, less than a million. I loved to look out the window and see how much land there is and how few people. Very unlike the busy places that I usually enjoy so much. So, I am capable of loving this semi-desolate landscape as much as the skyscrapers of the metropolis. It is just a different kind of appreciation.