Tuesday, April 10, 2012
On a Chilled Iowa Night
This rural corner of Iowa, nestled quietly between two rivers in the south and east, is completely mundane and unspectacular in it's geography, topography, and its history. But to one mundane and unspectacular soul that grew up rambling along the gravel roads and loathing the mundane and unspectacular existence that came with hailing from this river valley, "Southeast Iowa" is synonymous with "Mecca". Every four to six weeks, a penitential pilgrimage to this hallowed ground is necessary to cleanse the soul of metropolitan tension and the complexities of corporate bureaucracy. The ritual is complete when a healthy dose of gravel grit is reintroduced into the airways, filling lungs with dust that always smells like summer. The journey is success when machinery grease, pork roast, and Brylcreem are each reintroduced, each an old friend and fast memory.
I am certain that the significance of this journey is lost on most. A milquetoast region of a fly-over state that is barely worth mentioning. That is exactly why the region is such a valuable commodity for many who once took up residence in those small towns and vast fields. The cherished status is derived from the simplicity. That simplicity is exactly what is necessary for my peace of mind.