Our Beautiful Land

by Paul Berland

The land in the Midwestern section of the United States of America is a truly beautiful and sacred land.  There are many beautiful trees and wildlife that roam through this land: in my neck of the wood there are skunks, racoons, cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits, of course mosquitos, many beautiful birds with beautiful voices, and of course abundant fish in the rivers and lakes.  In this land, us Midwesterners really can find a true peace and happiness like nowhere else in the whole entire world.

We have many great cities in Illinois with rivers that run through them; and the architects of the cities in Illinois are conscious of the beauty and sanctity of the rivers and build massive walkways and beaches along the rivers and lakes of Illinois.  The people of Illinois who live in urban areas often go to the rivers and lakes for a bit of solace and community and to get a taste of nature, as well as the many forest preserves and beautiful parks that abound.  We love to sit back and listen to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves in a truly backwoods area.  Out in the country, in the rural areas, where there are many farms, there is great peace in walking down the dirt or gravel roads that abound, in peace and harmony with the natural surroundings and the gentle order of the farms.  The many animal visitors poke their noses through the brush timidly to visit us as we pass by.

The order of the wilderness of course is something that must be preserved.  It doesn’t persist if we don’t constantly protect it, clean up after ourselves, and guard it from those who would pollute it.  When the whole world is knocking at your door, whether it is bills that need to be paid, telemarketers who want to sell you something, or associates from the business world who need you to go about your job, you know you can always escape into the bits and patches of wilderness that still exist.  These little pieces of paradise, where the cats, dogs, raccoons, and squirrels frolic, and even horses, beautiful horses, cows, pigs, deer, and other exotic wildlife in the country, are places where we can escape and find peace and recharge our spirits and prepare for the next battle, where we must engage ourselves in the new, modern, ordered fashion of our time.  

The new, modern order seems to know nothing about the natural world and turns on a quite different pendulum altogether, that of money and of distinctly human needs.  However, those of us who are attune to the wilderness and its charms know that we must strike a balance between the natural world and the modern world in order to keep our sanity and our healthy outlook on life.  Therefore, we are constantly in debt and owe gratitude to those places of wilderness that comfort us in the times of greatest turmoil.

Let us take a moment and breathe a sigh of relief for those wonderful wilderness places near our homes where we can turn to and find a moment of peace.

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