Bright Lights, Big City
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

I recently went to a training day in Bemidji, MN that was necessary because of my job. As Frank Bruggeman and I drove to Bemidji I remarked how I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been out of town. I thought about it for awhile and realized that my last out of town trip had been two years prior when I attended the same training in the same town. I guess you could say I don’t get out much but recently Lisa and I honeymooned in Winnipeg, MB

and this small-town youngster had a chance to see the bright lights of the big city.


I am always amazed at how one event can change your perspective on life. In this case I could see why residents of a large city might have a different perspective than my own. We stayed on the eleventh floor of the Holiday Inn and from our window I couldn’t see anything that wasn’t made of concrete or steel. It’s really no wonder that many grade school students have no idea where their food originates. I wondered how people could ever dream or develop an imagination when they couldn’t see the horizon or even the stars in the sky. In my case, the horizon has always been like the carrot at the end of a stick and helps me stay inspired in life. I imagine many people in a large city live their lives within a few blocks and probably never gain a perspective outside of their small world of huge buildings.

That brings us to my own, small perspective. It’s obvious that I rarely leave my rural surroundings and when I do it’s uncommon that I see a building taller than three stories. My world became larger as we visited a world of many different races, ethnicity and cultures-particularly the culture of a people who are constantly in a hurry. Downtown is a place where people hurry to work or the bus stop or just to get across the street. Lisa and I made it to the midway point at a crosswalk when the "don’t walk" sign turned on. When taken as a whole, the one thing that the many different people, their different ways and the environment in which they lived had in common was that they helped me realize that there are several ways of living your life. I think this realization may open my mind a little and possibly change the way I handle my challenges.

Lisa and I enjoyed our honeymoon, I guess that’s probably the real reward from this trip. Lisa has lived in a large city prior to our marriage but for me this was quite a change from my regular life. Although I had fun I am very glad to be home. The question has always been "how are you going to keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen the big city?" In my case that won’t be a problem.