To start the day off working in Times Square and arrive that evening at my in-laws home set amongst the Chicago cornfields, is to arrive at a place where time stands still just a bit. It's a place where you can follow a bird in flight through the open sky, flapping, flapping, working, then catching a small sail to ride it out just before starting it up all over again.
Any country road will provide farm views as far as the eye can see. On my personal favorite, "Schoolhouse Road," there's a sweet stretch of earthen landscape dotted with dark silhouetted trees and modest silos, not unlike so many others. Neat rows of alternating green and brown chatter through the car window view as you pass by "Stagecoach Trail," the appropriately named cross street. You can't make these names up. Or maybe they do? One new construction housing development with a freshly paved entrance named "Prairie Crossing" didn't look like a prairie at all. Still a far cry from 34th Street or 5th Avenue, these quaint street signs, no matter how quickly driven past, give the passerby images of a less settled America.
This is the start of the high season so soybean plots are still partially flooded over. The lush green rows recede to blue if you catch a landscape layered enough to give you a slim foreground, middle ground, and background, otherwise it's flat fields for miles. It's a welcome resting point in a busy life, a place to catch your breath under an embracing sky.
If you'd like to be transported to this landscape you should read "So Big" by Edna Ferber, a fiction novel recommended to me by a wonderful client. You'll fall in love with cabbages all the while supporting a female author who was not only a paid writer in the 1920's but was also a member of the Algonquin Round Table - a mostly male literary group who met at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC for lunch everyday for nearly ten years. But you don't have to take my word for it.