January 31 – Farm Country

01-31 Kansas Barn post“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

~Henry David Thoreau

– – –

One of my occupations, of late, has involved walking around the city. During these urban hikes I keep a sharp eye out and I try to keep in mind my own individual, physical perspective. As a challenge to myself, I’ve been re-imagining the familiar neighborhoods, shopping centers, roadways, and walking paths. The city – the concrete and steel, the timber boxes of row houses and the carved-out subdivisions – has so thoroughly consumed all of the wild, untouched areas I grew up around, so I’ve been looking for spaces untouched by development.

This barn sits on the intersection of Interstate-435 and 87th Street Parkway. It is in the eye of the storm. To the right of this red barn, just off-camera, is the off-ramp and a line of cars waiting to merge onto 87th Street. Behind the barn is a field, probably two miles deep, before a thicket of housing, strip malls, and office buildings. Across the street from this barn is a McDonald’s, a Taco Bell, and a supermarket.

I don’t know the story behind this tract of land, but I’m guessing there’s a stubborn landowner who has refused generous offers on his property. I applaud such action, if only because I enjoy the basic concept of a person saying no to cold hard cash – it forces each of us to consider the possibility that there are indeed things more important than money.

I this small slice of untouched land. A little reminder of what the whole surrounding territory probably looked like a generation ago, before all of this “progress.”

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