DECADES AGO, I LAY flat on my back in a Redwood County, Minnesota farm yard, eyes fixated on the clouds. I wasn’t a weather watcher. Rather, I was a girl with an imagination. As I lay there, I imagined a monstrous bird swooping from the sky to bite a chunk from the silo.
I’d just viewed a movie about a giant bird attacking the Empire State Building. It was no surprise then that I noticed frightening creatures looming in the sky.
That was then. This is now, decades later, when I am still fascinated by the clouds of summer. There’s nothing quite like the summer skies of my native southwestern Minnesota prairie. Traveling west on July 2 to a family gathering near Lamberton, I delighted in the perfect summer sky of white clouds suspended above the land in a background of blue.
Below, fields of corn and soybeans stretched for acres, broken only by farm sites, grain elevators, small towns and slashes of roadways.
The sky and land are so big here. I suppose to some, the vastness can unsettle. But for me it’s freeing.
My mind wanders from worries and difficult realities of life, of attacking giant birds, to a carefree state. I simply feel happy here beneath clouds that hang like wispy pulls of cotton candy above the greening cropland.
This land, this sky, this place, this rural Minnesota shall always claim my heart and my imagination.
TELL ME: What place claims your heart and why?
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Note: All of these photos were taken on July 2 while traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 14 between Sleepy Eye and Lamberton, Minnesota.