One doesn't simply drive through Iowa without stopping to see the Field of Dreams. It's a pilgrimage for anyone who has ever felt their heart jump when they've heard the whisper, "If you build it, they will come". After all, the field is about so much more than baseball. Then again, it isn't.
That's the beauty of the sport. In a chaotic world where it seems humanity is self-destructing, life hushes and appears a little more simple when we gather around a baseball diamond. We forget all of the fights, the hate, the confusion... we're just people, enjoying America's favorite past time. You don't have to be Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, or Stan the Man. Just grab your bat, ball, and glove, and dream big.
And so, that's what we did-- we were dreaming big as we drove under a gray blanketed sky through Minnesota. We had witnessed the wonder of the Apostle Islands, but hadn't quiet satisfied our wanderlusty-souls. The clouds vanished as we rolled through the seemingly endless miles of cornfields in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa. Our hopes of something different than the typical American Dream waved around like the golden corn blowing by. We'd been on an adventure since the day we met, and our hearts were stirring for something new.
Cell service is sparse along the rural highways leading to Dyersville, home to the legendary Field of Dreams. According to our atlas we were nearing our destination, yet the monotony of farms gave no hint to the existence of the iconic landmark. Even as we entered town, a few unassuming signs were all that made mention of the famous field. Suddenly as we turned down a gravel road, the stadium lights appeared, standing taller than the stalks surrounding us. Our hearts raced as we parked our rig. Hopping out of the truck with the enthusiasm of a wonder-struck child, my husband disappeared into the camper, quickly returning with a wiffle ball and bat. He was beaming as we approached the field, talking about how he couldn't wait to hit one on the Field of Dreams.
Of course he hit on the first pitch. He always does. Bounding around the bases, he grinned from ear to ear as I cheered for him. Onlookers joined in the applause, and the older gentleman had a look of longing as my husband rounded for home. Extending the bat to him, he quickly accepted the invitation to hit a few. Like a scene from the movie, as the man headed to first it seemed his age disappeared, leaving a youthful version of himself to run the bases. The game continued as another man approached, asking if he could pitch a few. "I promised my son I'd throw the ball when I got here," he said as he motioned for his buddy to record the event. Perhaps more beautiful than the pristine farm and field, was the ongoing game of ball between strangers that has perpetuated through the years.
When we had our share of fun, we made our way to the concession stand, which was lined with memorabilia available for purchase. These trinkets, along with donations, were the only funds supporting the place. Like a kid in a candy store, we pondered which treasure was the best representation of our time at the Field of Dreams. The woman at the counter was a perfect representation of the wholesomeness of this place. The lines that graced her face curved around her gentle smile as she thanked us for visiting.
As we drove towards home, full of joy, we thought of what the Field of Dreams meant to us. It goes far beyond baseball. The field represents the crazy calls on our lives and the amazing things that can happen when we take risks to go for our dreams. We are building our field of dreams. Our goals may seem crazy... they make no sense to the sensible. But I believe that if we keep plowing ahead, planting the seeds of our plans, our time will come.
Born with a severe case of wanderlust, I'm always searching for new adventures and sharing those stories here.