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Ruckmann-by Kubota!Dear Readers,

Did you know Iowa has its own version of Wimbledon?

Appropriately, it is called the All Iowa Tennis Club: a grass tennis court on a family farm surrounded by a well-tended, short white fence in the middle of fields that stretch evenly as far as the eye can see.

It took 14 months to build after years of hope, research, planning, and perseverance.

The public is invited to make court reservations. Homegrown strawberries are served. A youth tennis league learns the wonders of grass court tennis every year on the court.

For tennis fans young and old, it is truly a field of dreams. I wish I had played at the All Iowa Tennis Club. I had begun to make travel plans with a friend, but out of nowhere a job opportunity came about and my family and I moved to Hawaii.

But I’m always thinking about level playing fields, whether they offer opportunities for folks from all walks of life to enjoy baseball, tennis, safe and sustainable communities, education.

Yesterday I wrote about The Village Community, an amazing living/learning/working center in Iowa begun by parents of children with “disabilities” who dared to dream of a place where everyone is valued for his and her gifts to the world.

If only the new United States Secretary of Education, and more members of the Senate and House of Representatives were truly invested in giving everyone a level playing field and greater access to services whenever possible in integrated settings.

Unfortunately, many people — not just those with “disabilities” — are feeling pretty vulnerable since the national elections last November.

Speaking out about Civil Rights has become more important and necessary than perhaps ever before in our nation’s history.

Since I began this blog a year ago, I have learned what I already knew: telling our stories can make change for the better.

So let’s tell them whenever we can even if it means going out on a limb or out of our comfort zones sometimes. If they are worth telling, they will find resonance and build trust, hopes, community, and yes, fields of dreams.