A couple of nights ago I watched a rerun of the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” on television. My daughter watched it with me too. It’s been quite a while since I saw that movie. In fact the last time I watched it was when I was still in the Philippines. I had no clue at that time that one day this film would parallel my life story.
As you all probably know it, that movie was filmed in Iowa. It’s about a farmer who turned part of his cornfields plot into a baseball field. Many of his friends and family thought he was going insane converting a profitable agricultural land into a playing field that nobody would come to as it was in the middle of nowhere. Then to his surprise, famous dead baseball players came to play on his field.
The site where it was filmed which is in Dyersville, Iowa, was preserved just like it was in that movie and it remains a popular tourist attraction to this day.
The film starred Kevin Costner, Earl James Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster in his final film role. It was interesting that both then-teenagers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, were extras in one of the scene at Fenway baseball stadium.
The movie featured Iowa cornfields and baseball but I believe it is more than that. Honestly, when I first watched it years ago when I was still a smog-inhaling, jeepney-riding inhabitant of Manila, I did not really dig it. However, after living in the US for more than 25 years now and understanding more the American way of living including baseball which is ingrained to this culture, I have a better appreciation of the film.
The movie though has a lot of symbolism that went beyond baseball. I believe one of the takeaway from the film is about pursuing your passion and your dreams even though how unreasonable it may seems to other people that they might think you are losing your mind. And this to me, took a somewhat personal connection.
One of the iconic scenes of the movie is when Ray, the main character who built the baseball field, and who had regrets that he did not spend much time playing baseball with his father who played for the Minor League, saw a younger version of his departed father, John, who came to play baseball on his field. The scene had these lines:
John Kinsella: “Is this heaven?”
Ray Kinsella: “It’s Iowa.”
John Kinsella: “Iowa? I could have sworn this is heaven.”
Ray Kinsella: “Is there a heaven?”
John Kinsella: “Oh yeah. It’s a place where dreams come true.”
Ray looked around at his field and at his home nearby where he saw his wife and his daughter happily playing at the porch, finally answered back:
Ray Kinsella: “Maybe this is heaven.”
When we moved here to Iowa, after residing in America for 10 years, and living in New Jersey, New York City, California and Florida, some thought we were making a wrong decision. Why move to an “obscure” land of cornfields? We were asked questions that went like this:
Iowa? Where is Iowa? Why Iowa? Are you thinking right?
But after living here for 16 years and counting, and having my dreams come into fruition here, maybe this is really heaven.
I came across your blog when I was searching for covered bridges of Madison County after watching the movie filmed in this location. I have been following your blog ever since. What a beautiful and serene place Iowa is !!! Must be just like heaven.
Yes it is. Except when the temperature is negative 20 outside.
I have seen this movie & never tire of it. Love the music score. If only something like this could be possible.
I have not really paid attention to the music score. But since you mentioned it, now I will. Thanks for the visit.