Heaven, Iowa, and the Love of Fathers in “Field of Dreams”

I didn’t realize that the movie “Field of Dreams” was now 25 years old until I read Kerry Weber’s exceptional essay about it on America magazine’s website.

Her thoughtful and personal reflections examine the film’s inherent transcendence and spirituality in light of the love that her parents have always showed – and continue to show – her and her siblings.

You should definitely read Kerry’s entire article, but first, here is an excerpt:

In the film, based on the novel Shoeless Joe, by W. P. Kinsella, ballplayers of the past return to the Iowa field for a second chance at the game they loved. In the process, baseball and belief, family and foul balls, all swirl together to create a scene so picturesque, so peaceful that more than one player stares out at the lush grass and the dark earth and the horizon and wonders aloud: “Is this heaven?” Ray Kinsella famously replies, “No, it’s Iowa.” But eventually even he begins to wonder as the film channels the words of St. Catherine of Siena: “All the way to heaven is heaven….” …..

…..Despite my dad’s enthusiasm for the film, he isn’t a sports guy. Attempts by presumptuous strangers to discuss Major League Baseball with him usually result in a lot of nodding on his part and an eventual save by my mother, who is far better prepared to enthusiastically debate a team’s latest trades or analyze a pitcher’s E.R.A. The thing about “Field of Dreams,” though, is that you don’t have to love baseball to find beauty in the film. You just have to want to be reminded of the power of faith in things unseen and the need to find courage to follow a path not yet trod. It offers stories of second chances and reminders of the beauty of reaching out when all seems lost, only to find that someone has been watching out for you all along.

Now go read the whole thing.

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