Beauty is all about your perception, what you choose to see, and how it will affect you. The Flint Hills of Northeastern Kansas, with its marvelous tall green grasses under my bare feet pierce my soul.

Houses that once held farmers of old still remain in this countryside, it’s owners probably six feet under in the backyard. The creaking timbers and crumbling bricks watch over them….

A dog barks loudly, echoing against the bluest of skies, warning no one of my approach. Standing in the silence of a lone tree, he eventually comes to my side and I scratch his chin. He pants and for a moment I think he smiles.

Fields of cows mixed with deer bounding by, a side of nature rarely seen by these eyes. An old barn and windmill watch over the serene scene with a strange omnipotence.

A lone house sits atop a hillside. I think to the infamous novel,  In Cold Blood , and of the innocent blood shed for no rhyme or reason. How the pureness of a family was destroyed by evil in the beautiful heartland of this area.

The hills also hold images of a new era, where modernization and big corporations are destroying the local economy. The burned out remnants of a once peaceful life, forever gone like ashes in the wind.

Yet the resiliency remains, the hard work ethic is intact, the spirit unwavering, and I believe that just as the barns stand tall in the setting sun, so will the beauty of the Flint Hills.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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