The valley lay in peaceful slumber under the comforting blanket of a warm night. The clear summer sky was filled with thousands of tiny flecks of light that danced against a deep blanket of black. As the eastern horizon brightened, beginning a slow transformation into dawn, those stars that had dominated the night with their brilliance, slowly faded… withdrawing back into the heavens. Surrendering themselves to the encroaching dawn.
So slight was the change that it came almost without notice. Looking at them there appeared to be no movement at all. But a simple glance away for just a few moments and you’d find that entire galaxies had dimmed or disappeared completely. As the darkness leached from the sky and morning began to shift; first black to gray…then pale blue…finally into cobalt as night yielded to the encroaching dawn.
Slowly the sun pulled itself over the wooded hilltops and splashed the sky with a dazzling array of color. It burned away the swirling fog that had crept up from the river and filled gullies, ditches, and hovered over ponds and fields. As the ghostly mist evaporated it exposed to the world those hidden places with forgotten names like Long Tater Hill, Low Gap, Bunch Hollow, Rabbit Island and Wakenda.
The coming dawn brought to life a sea of green that swirled and rolled in the soft morning breeze. The vast fields of corn, wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa stretched out from the banks of the Missouri River to touch the horizon. Each tiny drop of moisture that dangled from the tips of their leaves reflected the beauty of the sunrise.
Cows grazing in rich emerald pastures looked up with tender shoots of sweet clover dangling from their mouths. They felt the sun…it warmed their blood and sent small wisps of steam rising from their backs. The sun had witnessed this scene countless times before and did not linger to enjoy the serenity of the moment. It moved on uncaring. But for me the scene will remain frozen in my memory…I weep for all who have never known such joy.