Seeking solace on a drive through rural Rice County

The rural scene, dominated by a blue sky, unfolds before us.

The rural scene, dominated by a blue sky, unfolds before us.

Blue sky stretches before my husband and me as we traverse back gravel roads northwest of Faribault Sunday afternoon.

A drive along country gravel roads always uplifts me, no matter the season.

A drive along country gravel roads always uplifts me, no matter the season.

I yearn for this escape, for this reconnection to the land, this attempt to rejuvenate my spirit.

This scene inspires the poet in me.

This scene inspires the poet in me.

Just being in the country calms my soul, brightens my outlook, causes me to pause and appreciate this peaceful rural landscape.

This scene elicits memories of laboring on my childhood farm in southwestern Minnesota.

This scene elicits memories of laboring on my childhood farm in southwestern Minnesota.

In this moment, at this time, I slip into the past, envision myself laboring in the barns we pass. Soothing thrum of the milking machine. Cocooning warmth among cows snugged in mounds of golden straw. The comfort of ‘CCO radio.

I envision these fields seeded in corn or soybeans.

I envision these fields seeded in corn or soybeans.

In fields, I see a much younger and skinnier version of myself plodding between rows of soybeans to yank cockleburs on a scorching summer day.

Drive, red buildings

This farmyard scene holds the comfort of memories.

At the sight of a farmyard, I hear my buckle overshoes crunch upon hard-packed snow as I follow the path from house to barn.

An ocean of snow-washed land.

An ocean of snow-washed land.

Memories unleash in this landscape, in the view of farmyards anchored into hillsides within an ocean of snow-washed fields.

A remnant of yesteryear in an old corn crib.

A remnant of yesteryear in an old corn crib.

I am happy here. Content. At peace.

Splashes of red jolt and blue and white landscape.

Splashes of red jolt the blue and white landscape.

Yes, even in this winter of too much cold and too much snow, I find solace in blue skies and sunshine, barns and white-washed fields.

This story was cross posted at mnprairieroots.com.


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4 Responses to Seeking solace on a drive through rural Rice County

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke January 22, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    hey this is beautiful.

  2. Minnesota Prairie Roots January 22, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Thank you kindly, Bill. In recent years I’ve really embraced the concept of a Sunday afternoon drive in rural Minnesota.

  3. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    It’s an old tradition. My mom grew up on the Canadian prairie (Alta/Sask) and Sunday was the day when they’d go “visiting”, which always involved a long drive to visit a relative on their farm. Cars back then were less about the everyday grueling commute, and more a machine for recreation (e.g. visiting) and work (e.g. hauling) than they are today, I think.

    Maybe that’s overly romantic?

    • Minnesota Prairie Roots January 22, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Growing up, we went for Sunday afternoon drives occasionally in southwestern Minnesota, mostly so my farmer dad could look at the crops. Sometimes we’d even visit a state park or Alexander Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls.

      Yes, Sunday evenings were most definitely for visiting relatives in the area. We would pile into the Chevy (up to six kids) and simply drive, unannounced, over to an aunt/uncle’s house after the evening milking.

      Or we would be the ones getting guests. A car would roll down the gravel drive and someone would announce, “We’ve got company!” Such sweet memories of evenings spent visiting and/or playing with cousins.

      Romantic? Yes. But all important parts of childhood memories I cherish.