Old Highways and Gray Skies

We’re driving back from the Myrtle Beach destination Strobist shooting. We’ve had a full weekend and now find us taking a scenic set of highways on the way back to Charlotte. The modern use of technology has been a valuable asset using the iphone, location checking, google maps, to plot us a new course after missing one of our exits.

My mind always has great musings when we find ourselves on forgotten byways and towns. The interior deterioration of lonely America. Rural, frozen in time, reflecting the gray of the sky with their own sadness of times gone by.

I find this urge to know their stories. To stand in the middle of a rural town and flip the backwards switch and see everything slip and slide through it’s being. Seeing how it unfolded; the great growth spurt that made everything blossom and then like Summer to Fall see it’s moment disappear.

I also drift this way when we pass deep rural cemeteries. My imagination sees dozens of families, lineage, history that took a person from point A to point B. The came they laughed they cried, a family, a greatness, or a life simply poetic. Then left. I’ve read about the idea of the ‘dash’ on a persons tombstone but I was struck looking at all the assorted markers and thinking more how I was passing the periods of the sentence. The last great line of a novel. I hope it was a good story.

It is not my intention to sound morose or even real somber these thoughts are celebrations of history of time, of our existence, our humanity, and I’m happy to be in the moment.

I only wish that the bad times didn’t have to be so bad. So many of these places have visible deep poverty, and their Main Streets are lined with the empty, the religious, the pawn, and the paycheck for cash establishments. That’s not a healthy economy. What went bad here and what good thoughts can help breathe life into it? Or like all things the areas time has really had it’s run..what does that mean though?

All the reflection and thought does bring about the desire to see a revitalization of our infrastructure. Tour the back roads of your own areas to wonder, reflect, and ponder our own past and our future.

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