Singing the Land

Singing the Land: A Rural Chronology by Chila Woychik

Reviewed by Teri Takle

Many people write about the events in their daily life and the thoughts that make it memorable. Daily record keeping is unnecessary, but every few days is needed to view what we have enjoyed in our little snippets in the back of our minds. Purchase Here.

Depending upon where you live, life is different. If you live in a large city, it is busy, crowded, noisy, and many residents thrive upon that lifestyle.

For some of us, we live in Iowa, one of those fly-over states. We thrive in the quiet life of the country, or a small town, or even a large city.

For the author, Chila Woychik, she adores her life on her farm with her husband in the beauty and joy of nature in Iowa.

January 21

“First snows, like first loves, leave one panting for breath.”

January 31

“Iowa is nothing in winter, but endless roads slick with lonesome.”

How can these two entries be written just ten days apart? The answer is Iowa. The first draws the reader inside the beauty, silence, and complete awe of the first snow. The second reflects the days of hard work, shoveling, and the constant slipping and falling on the ice.

Another author, Stephanie E. Dickinson, is also an Iowa native. In her foreword to Chila Woychik’s chronology, she reveals her love of the people and the way of life in Iowa. She also beautifully reflects about her childhood memories in Iowa.

Many visitors to Iowa frequently have no clue what to expect when they arrive in our state. (Yes, a visiting professor from the east coast appeared before a class wearing a pistol around his waist and cowboy boots that were new and hurt his feet. My class, including myself, were not impressed. How can an educated man be so unaware of this part of his country?)

People who have always lived in large cities sometimes have difficulty understanding the peace and contentment of living in a rural community. Iowa is a land where hard, physical labor brings a joy with living daily with the wonders of nature.

Singing the Land is unique. This non-fiction gem explains how Iowa compares to other places like Alaska in the winter.

Singing the Land is Chila Woychik’s monthly journal of the family farm’s events for one year. Yes, it is likely to change from year to year, depending on weather and challenges. She seems to capture the hearts of those who choose Iowa as their home. However, Chila has a gift of optimism and hope with every word she writes to create this beautiful book, complete with many of her pictures. Between joys and sorrows, births and deaths, unpredictable weather, reflections upon life, time, religion, hard work, and a sense of accomplishment are all part of this book’s gemstone.