Here is our newest song. Dean wrote the music, and Dean and I collaborated on the lyric. Dean said he was inspired to write the words of the chorus after he read the following words by Liberty Hyde Bailey (which were in an earlier post here on my blog):
Look at your map of the globe. Note how few are the areas of great congestion of population and of much human activity as compared with the vast and apparently empty spaces. How small are the spots that represent the cities and what a little part of the earth are the political divisions that are most in the minds of men! We are likely to think that all these outlying and thinly peopled places are the wastes. I suspect that they contribute more to the race than we think. I am glad that there are still some places of mystery, some reaches of hope, some things far beyond us, some spaces to conjure up dreams. I am glad that the earth is not all Iowa or Belgium or the Channel Islands. I am glad that some of it is the hard hills of New England, some the heathered heights of Scotland, some the cold distances of Quebec, some of it the islands far off in little-traversed seas, and some of it also the unexplored domains that lie within eyesight of our own homes. It is well to know that these spaces exist, that there are places of escape. They add much to the ambition of the race; they make for strength, for courage, and for renewal.
The idea to situate the lyric in the Sandhills of Nebraska was mine. I lived in Nebraska for many years, and near the Sandhills for about three years.