Big Dam Photo: Outside Walnut Ridge

The calm of winter falls hard on this quiet morning

On summer days, especially after a good, hard rain, the rural geometry—that meeting of dusty blacktop and budding crops—is unmistakable, a gridded patchwork of man and earth. But this morning, there’s nothing. Nothing but the crooked toothpicks of a farm fence and the taut tendrils of the power lines to delineate where rural highway ends and fallow fields begin. It’s still and it’s quiet, and there’s a persistent calm that feels like it will go on forever. But as the sun rises higher and higher and the day inches forward, it serves as a reminder that, as always, there’s work to be done.