Friday, September 17, 2004

A Prairie View From the Top

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.


Super Rachel Zana said...

Sara, I know exactly what you are talking about! Those of use who have lived in North Dakota almost our whole lives have the ability to look behind the obvious and see the beauty of flat in the east, desolate in the west and appreciate it rather than dismiss it. I love how the Red River Valley looks from the air! I love the fields intersecting and all the different textures of the crops. It's just as beautiful as a forest of fall colors if you look at it with the right pair of eyes.

Eyes said...

You describe ND so wonderfully, I almost want to go visit. I was a flatlander, so now today I am in love with the small hills that surround me!