Some of my favorite memories that I have with my sister are paddling on Sugar Creek during our church’s annual youth retreat. We grew up canoeing on lakes, so the change of pace and ever changing scenery offered by paddling on the river was alway a treat. The little things stick out the best- seeing my first kingfisher, stoping for lunch on a gravel bar, watching turtles swim in the shallow water.
While the Midwest may lack the grander of mountains or the awe-inspiring power of the ocean, it has a subtle beauty that is all it’s own. If you look past the big cities and expansive fields of corn, there are still little pockets of wilderness to be found, many of them along rivers. Just like my memories of Sugar Creek, it’s the little things that shine brightest in the Midwest- a bobolink alighting on a stalk of Indian grass, the fragrant smell of a Silphium flower, tall coreopsis swaying in a gentle prairie breeze. May there forever be rivers like Sugar Creek to help us find these little wonders.