Due to recent personal events I have found myself away from the journal the last couple of weeks. Life rolls on with all it’s ups and downs and so to must this journal.

I have been in some very familiar places over the most recent days and weeks. It is always comforting to return to those places that are ingrained in our memories of yesterday or yesteryear. It is such a common saying that life seems to go faster the older one gets. To all the younger folks out there, it is true. Enjoy and live your life to the fullest each and every day. Advice that will hold true throughout all of time.

It seems somewhat funny in an odd sort of way how our mood and attitude play such a critical roll in what we choose to concentrate on. In a “need to create” lifestyle this may direct us to see things in a different way or may direct us to different subjects all together. For me that doesn’t seem to be the case. I am consistently drawn to the lands of my home. There is something in visiting the familiar that helps in understanding the present. I find it odd as well that even with this approach I am a firm believer in not concentrating in the past and things that can not be changed. An understanding and acceptance is what is needed. One that will help to encourage us to move forward in the most positive way.

A few days ago I found myself in my chosen surroundings. The peaceful and tranquil prairies of the Flint Hills.  I had driven out to a road known in this area known as Skyline Drive, I believe I have even mentioned it in past posts. A well maintained gravel road that runs directly through some of the most wonderful views of these lands. Along Skyline Drive which is approximately 10 plus miles long there are only a few crossroads that are suitable for most vehicles to traverse. This includes a couple of roads that are more like paths than actual roads. These are the places I prefer to wander down when conditions allow it.

I turned south off of Skyline Drive and began to easy my way down what is known as Dawson Hill. I had not been down this road for a couple of years and wasn’t sure how far I would be able to make it. It was 7:40pm so about an hour of daylight remained. I take extra precaution when going back into places like this when darkness is near. Many of these areas are miles from the nearest country residence and cell phone coverage is spotty to say the least. These road like paths can go from smooth grassy areas to tire eating flint and limestone rock in the blink of an eye.

I eased my way to a spot I remembered that was just as described. As the smooth grassy road began to drop down a hillside the sharp edged rocks took over. I decided that was as far as I needed to go. Luckily in this area was a field entrance that allowed me to turn around and be prepared when time to leave. There are times I have gotten myself into areas that require backing out and if I am not careful this could be for a mile or more.

I grabbed my camera gear and decided I would just hike a ways further and enjoy the great weather and approaching sunset. It was really a great evening. Temperatures were mild, the wind was calm and the entire landscape seemed to be at peace. I wandered down the path stopping every so often to venture into the waste high grasses along the fence line and make few photos.

As the darkness began to settle in I made my way back to my truck and even put my backpack and tripod in. I stood there for a couple of moments in this area that seemed to have no great dramatic scene and decided this is what I need to be photographing. Out my camera and tripod came and as I stood there, sun having set some time ago I began my attempt of capturing this peaceful view. I knew it may not be the “wow” type of image that most seem to gravitate to but, it was what I needed to be photographing at that moment.

The past, present, and future all seemed to be at peace. Providing that calm tranquility that is so vitally needed.

Kansas, prairie, flinthills, flint, hills,

© Brad Mangas