This week at work, we had a first-time visitor to our town who had lived in LA for the past ten years. He was here on business, and Kayla asked him what he thought about our town. "Not much," was his reply. "Kind of boring."
I could feel my hometown pride percolate to the surface, but I bit my tongue. I just replied, "Boring is relative," with a smile.
And I suppose the Midwest is boring to some folks. If you like a fast-paced life with constant sensory stimulation, Missouri is probably not your best bet. I too have felt the siren call of the big city from time to time - I love New York and New Orleans. I've almost moved away.
But, I don't know if I could survive a summer without the drone of lawnmowers, or the scent of honeysuckle. The way the wind ruffles through the wheat in a roadside pasture. Thunderstorms marching like behemoths across the sky. Sunsets and the whirr of crickets. The Midwest is exciting to me - and it fosters creativity. Taking a road trip down old Route 66 will restore your soul, and remind you why you love the simple things in life.
I took these pictures during the golden hour, just down the hill from my house - where the trees and wildflowers grow of their own free will, unconstrained by concrete and the hands of men. My cat came outside with me, rolling around in the grass and soaking up the sun's last rays. In her eyes, nothing was better than this moment.
But is life better in the Midwest? That's relative, as well. But to me - there's a magic in the song of the plains and of the forest - a magic I too was prone to take for granted until the day I picked up a camera.
You don't have to travel to find beauty. It's right here, in your own back yard.