Friday, May 11, 2012

Not as Plain as You Think

So while it has been a few months since the last post, I’m actually taking a slight detour with this one.  Time has been hard to come by lately so this is going to be brief and touch on a subject very dear to my heart...the US Plain States!  If you spoke with a handful of people from various locations in the United States you would end up with just as many opinions as people.  The Great Plains encompass the middle portion of the United States just east of the Rocky Mountains and follows along from the Canadian Prairie to the Texas-Mexico border.  Varying definitions have it including all or parts of nine or ten states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.  The one state sometimes missing from the list is New Mexico.
I find the comments people make about these states quite interesting.  They’re boring, flat, empty, nothing’s there, nobody in their right mind would live there, nothing to do there, only farmers live there, more cattle than people, they live in the past, and the list goes on.  Having grown up in South Dakota in and amongst the rolling prairie, I have a wonderful appreciation for the so-called emptiness.  Personally, I find the vast space provides some of nature’s best views and some of God’s best handiwork.  Nature is where I tend to connect best with God and His love for both us and the world that He created.
How the colors can be such a contrast in the spring with the cool greens and blues of pastures and creeks to the warm reds and gold of the sunrise and sunset.  The winter brings freshness with the cold, crisp air and brightness of the sun’s reflection off the snow.  The summer fills the horizon with the dry, rustling prairie grass in the breeze in shades of taupe, fawn, and gold.  There’s a gentle sense of peace that can be found standing on a quiet gravel road looking out at the horizon.  My time living in large cities made me long for the wide open spaces of my parent’s farm and the view from the top of our hill down over the pasture and creek below.
 If you’ve been through any of these states what was your first impression?  Likely, you were among the majority impatiently waiting for the other side or the time when you could return home.  Did you take the time for a second look?  Or did you pass off the view out your window for the music on your radio and thoughts of your destination?  As a fan of country music and a big fan of Jason Aldean, I’ve enjoyed listening to his most recent radio release, “Fly Over States” off of his 2010 album "My Kinda Party", and watching as it continues to increase in popularity.  This song touches on some of the same views I have with the Plains and even some of the Great Lake states; how they can so often be overlooked by their sparse appearance and yet they are filled with so much quality of life.  I’m including the video of the song at the end and suggest you enjoy the music but also listen to the words and at least consider this part of the United States.
It’s a place consisting of hard-working, down-to-earth, quality people who want to make the best out of life and know that in order to achieve it they will have to earn it.  Nothing comes easy in this life, but with hard work and prayer we can unite our dreams with God’s and see them come to fruition.  There is much to take from these places and the people living within their borders and I hope that the next time you’re through you’ll take time for a second look at its natural beauty and all it represents.

Official Music Video

Official Lyric Video

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