There’s something novel about a mid-western haystack to an East Coaster. While a haystack to many may look like nothing other than a round cylinder-like natural structure in the middle of a field, they captivated me from the moment we hit South Dakota.
What was more remarkable to me was the virgin newness and innocent reaction I had to some of the simplest sights and the most basic of pleasures. It took more than a haystack to remind me how much beauty I had access to and how much was yet to enter my life.
Perhaps I delayed this trip because I felt after traveling across Africa, Asia, Australia, the former Soviet Union and Europe, the blandness of Route 66 and the American midwest could never excite me.
And yet, the excitement came from the inner peace I felt when I looked at a haystack, the joy I felt when I climbed to the top of one and rolled around scratching my stomach and arms with its edges. It came from the sunset beyond the haystack, the vast emptiness and flatness of the sprawling farms and the lazy cows grazing in the distance.
There’s something about those midwestern Haystacks. They’re the color of and smell of the earth. It reminded me of Marcel Prévost’s quote: the age of your heart is the age of what you love.