I grew up in the flat, open cornfields of Illinois. In summer, the midwestern heat created hazy undulating blankets of transpiration as the corn sweated in sympathy with the hardworking farmers. In autumn, corn dust and bean husks swirled in the wake of combines moving like grounded paddle wheels through seas of ripened grain. In winter, wind howled and snow eddied across the barren stretches of openness evoking a beautiful, painful melancholy. In spring, iron-hard soil thawed, yielding to the plow and showing off rich ebony black releasing that singular, delicious scent that only those who have experienced it can fully appreciate. All these things still cause my heart to sing.