If the “America the Beautiful” lyricist had composed her lyrics in April, the familiar “amber waves of grain” might have been expressed as “verdant waves of grain.” The wheat fields of Kansas in April are as green as spring. And as beautiful.
So we observed this mellow spring day as we made our way across the high plains of Oklahoma and Kansas, preferring the back road byways over the Interstate highways. Our route choices may have cost us an hour or so in time, but what we saw and felt of rural and small-town Americana on this windy spring drive across the high plains moved us as Americans.
Rural America shows the character of the nation in unique ways that may seem strange to the urbanscape. True, more Americans live in metropolitan centers of population, but those population centers’ majority will never outcry the simple grandeur of wide open American spaces and the rural folk whose pioneer ancestors’ sturdy backbones settled and developed those spaces.
The heart and spirit of Americana is rural. I felt that on these backroads today.