How I Escape from Covid-19

Rebecca Dutton

I have been reading e-books on Hoopla to pass the time while sitting at home during the covid-19 pandemic.  I recently reread My Antonia by Willa Cather.  This book brought back fond childhood memories of my father driving across Illinois and Iowa to visit my grandparents before there were interstate highways.  State highways built before World War II wove through miles of wheat fields that moved in the wind like ocean swells.  When we came to an intersection we could see cars for miles in all directions because the land is so flat.  One of Cather’s characters described the land this way – “I wanted to walk straight through the red grass and over the edge of the world which
could not be far away.”

When I moved east to New Jersey I freaked out for years when I drove on narrow state and county roads with sharp curves.  Not being able to see on-coming traffic around a bend was unnerving.  For years I also missed seeing the horizon at sunset.  I have gotten used to the closed-in landscape of the densely populated east coast, but the open vistas of the middle-west still thrill me.

I am grateful that a stunning writer who won a Pulitzer Prize helped me reconnect home and
happy memories.