Iowa’s not flat, after all. And it’s not all cornfields.

Most people who don’t live in the Midwest probably know little more about the state of Iowa than what they saw in the movie Field of Dreams, with its classic exchange: A baseball player asks, “Is this heaven?” The Kevin Costner character, standing in the baseball field he built in the middle of his cornfields, replies, “No…it’s Iowa.”

We’ve lived in Iowa for four years now, and all around us are cornfields and soybean fields. A few trees here and there have been planted to provide wind barriers. When my husband wants to run on hills, he has to travel.

So yesterday, we went to the so-called second-highest point in the state (1,450 feet), at Pilot Knob State Park.  The park gets its name from the “knob” used by pioneers to guide them as they traveled west. I climbed the 33-foot observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s from which, according to the Iowa DNR, “one can see great expanses of some of the most fertile farmland in the world.”

Of course, my husband and I know Iowa is not all flat. We’ve seen the hills and valleys of other areas of Iowa, including the bluffs and valleys of the Mississippi and Missouri River valleys and the rolling hills of the southeastern part of the state. It’s just that, where we live, hills and trees are less common. So viewing the expanse of trees and fields from a higher vantage point was a pleasant change, even if it’s not as spectacular as the Rockies.

As always, the higher vantage point gave me a new perspective. I love the fact that all of Creation declares God’s handiwork, and “the mountains and hills…burst into song, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).