Shots from Rural Arkansas

Arkansas, September 2013

“…one of the beautiful things about coming home is the effortless way I can relax back into the familiar. There’s no second-guessing how to function in society, no wondering how to get what I need, no stomach knots as I wonder how to navigate a conversation.

After 15 months, the details come back simultaneously familiar and fresh. I’d forgotten how strangers often strike up a conversation to fill the grocery store wait, the overwhelming options in the gum department, wisdom from church marquees, and living so close to nature that signs warn drivers of deer.

Even going through the desk in my old room brought back forgotten memories… When I come across these quotes, when a friend makes a pun, even when I turn on the radio, I’m privy to a million inside jokes. It feels familiar, comfortable. It feels like home.”

- Thoughts on my last trip home, January 2012

Hello all! I apologize for my absence, I haven’t felt like posting much since I was busy visiting with family and friends in the States. I was originally going to write some new thoughts on the visit, but I still feel like what I said about my last trip sums it up best.

However, I do have some pictures to share. Back in Arkansas, I did some exploring. While I bounced back and forth between all the familiar places–Greenbrier, Conway, Little Rock–I also had the chance to check out some places near my childhood home that I had never even seen before. It was great to be able to maintain that feeling of adventure and exploration while in a place that also feels so familiar. Here are some pictures from those drives through rural Arkansas:

 

I wore sandals when I took these pictures, and the early-morning dew crept between my toes. The humidity made my hair as frizzy as it always had. There was the buzz of mosquitoes and the heavy, late-summer smell of plants surrendering to fall. Even though the season was changing, inhaling the outdoor landscape brought a refreshing breath of life after months in the city. While I was encountering them for the first time, the places and views often felt hazily familiar, all part of the beauty of slipping back into a place you once called home.