from Bob Reed (Sr.)
THE HILL BEYOND THE HILL
I’ve given up trying to explain to outside people that Iowa is not flat like Kansas. They simply don’t want to understand that we are blessed with a bunch of gently rolling hills, particularly in the northwest section. And like those little hills, there are a lot of rolling destinies in life.
Oh, the hills aren’t big monsters of earth. They are puny compared to the Black Hills of South Dakota. But the wonderful section of highway between Marcus and LeMars is full of a series of graded, modest heights that seem to mirror the folk who live around there. Each one provides a wonderful vista of the surrounding fields and the road ahead.
I’m reminded of their beauty at this time of year, when our young people are graduating from MMC. Like those succeeding hills, they will soon be engaged in a series of events that will color and inform their lives by their ups and downs.
They will be facing rising challenges—chasing their destiny. Perhaps some of them can’t really articulate what it is they will do. Or what they will be. Or where they will go. But each step, like the mounting and descent of each little hill will see them to new small valleys and further heights.
There was a song—a duet—written by Rodgers and Hammerstein that was dropped from the score of “Oklahoma!” before it opened on Broadway in 1943. Part of the lyrics were
Songs and kings and many things
Have their day and are gone.
But boys and girls like you and me—
We go on and on.
Like other R & H characters, the guy sings what he can’t say, and the girl warbles what she is afraid to know. But they somehow feel that they are on the verge of something, so they approach it with a hint of history, some apprehension, and a prescient persistance.
Similarly, our grads are in for a new life—a venture where dreams may be fulfilled or unrealized. Where ambitions are attained, or hopes dashed. Where potential is achieved or wasted in life’s insane little twists of ups and downs.
They are soon to engage in actions that may change the course of their lives—actions that are sometimes calculated, sometimes stumbled upon. Growing up is never easy on those doing the growing and sometimes lands hard on the people around them. But our young grads must find the life they were born to live.
How? As the Mother Abbess in another R & H show, “The Sound of Music” tells the anxious heroine, “Look for it. Examine. Invest. Alter.”
And while our MMC graduates may not fully understand that their lives may be dictated by a series of events like the little hills and valleys of their geography, they will be affected by them. For there will always be the challenge of a hill beyond the hill.
Congratulations MMC grads of 2010! GO!