Saturday, September 08, 2007

I'm Back

After several days on the open road, I am reluctant to reconnect with the 'real' world. (I'm only forced to do so because I have over 300 photos that must be downloaded, labeled, tagged and, in many cases, deleted.)

Being in places where the population is small and the sky is big, the world feels different. Slower, of course, but also more connected. With room to think, you ponder silence and how rare it is. Beyond the wind, a distant 'moo' and the hum of a nearby tractor, the High Plains are dead still.

You see a way of life that is slowly dying and an agriculture industry that has long gone corporate. You see grain elevators and forgotten churches, one-room schoolhouses and a variety of roadkill. You see the two-fingered wave that locals automatically give to another passing car. You see boarded up businesses, hay bales and lots of cows.

Funny but even though there is no one around, you always get the sense that eyes are on you. Small towns have that feeling that whatever you do, someone will witness it and by lunch, everyone in town knows you wore your pink shoes to pump gas. I remember feeling this way in Africa. Sure, it looked like no one was out there but as soon as we stopped, people would seemingly come out of the grass.

I dug it. Seems like the perfect mix of solitude and community. Then again, I imagine it's even better when you're just passing through ...

3 comments:

Kath said...

I remember the drives from CA to VA...and back...and the drive from CA to FL.

While it might be scenic and the perfect time to let your mind wander, don't go getting any ideas of taking off on a drive and not coming back....cause you're a Denver resident now. You can look, but not leave.

Just so we're both on the same page!!

ClizBiz said...

Wow. I'm amazed at how well you know me. Every state I was in, I thought to myself, "Hey, I could live here!"

Guess I'm a wanderer at heart, just like my daddy.

SusanV said...

I LOVE the mirror photo! Wishing I could steal that one.