Progress I Don’t Like

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Last Sunday morning I went for a longer run, more than my routine 2-3 mile run. I trekked down to the old dirt road route that I used to run before and I was surprised on the “progress” that was happening on this quiet country back road. They are turning pristine farm fields into new roads (photo below).

For reference, here it was in a photo a couple of years back.

Since we moved here in Iowa, more than 17 years ago now, I have witnessed more and more farm fields are being devoured by commercialization and churning them into roads, business districts and housing projects. I am not sure that I will call this ‘progress.’

In fact, near the place where I live now, when the real estate agent who was touring me during the time I was being interviewed in 2003, she showed me a single construction crane in the sea of corn fields. She told me that this was a site of a future shopping mall. True enough, this day, all the corn fields in that place are gone and instead there is a busy sprawling commercial complex that even people from out of state of Iowa visit today.

We chose though to live in the outskirts of the city when we moved here. I rather see the stars at night than to be drowned by the city lights. I like to hear the crickets chirping at night and be serenaded by singing birds in the morning. I want to see the deer and the rabbits playing in my yard.

However as the years went by, the city and the commercial institutions are slowly creeping up to where I reside, chomping down cornfields after cornfields that stood in its way. I am afraid that soon the beautiful view of cornfields in the river valley when I stand on my porch would turn into an expanse of houses and I would eventually be looking at rooftops.

Even the more than100-year-old medical school that is in the heart of our capital city is now relocating to my neck of the woods. By next year I would have a medical school in my doorsteps. Maybe doorsteps is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is actually about 3 miles away from my house. I know in some way it is a good thing, but in some other ways it is not a good thing.

I still prefer the deer and the rabbits running in my street than medical students scurrying around my yard. Nothing personal.

(*photos taken with an iPhone)

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