BEST AS I CAN figure, in the seven years since we started these Reasons to Love Arkansas features, we’ve spotlighted something like 174 reasons. It’s a testament to this state, I think, that we’ve never wanted for material—for factoids, personal anecdotes, historical accounts and so forth—that we’ve never had to scrape the bottom of the barrel or rely on some overly clever conceit on which to build the feature. It’s always been easy to find reasons to love Arkansas.
In part, because even on its less-than-stellar days, this is not an especially difficult place to love. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in working for this publication, it’s that sometimes you’ve just got to take a closer look at what stands before you, to pause, to ask: What else is there? That’s why, when it came time to plan this year’s feature, we opted not for the big picture but the pixel: We asked a handful of photographers across the state to help us compile a visual compendium of the state as it appears on a given day—to show us one reason they love this place. And on March 7, that’s exactly what they did.
To look at what they came back with is a remarkable thing. Despite an overwhelmingly overcast and rainy day, they returned with a collection that showed there are always reasons to love this state—not just spectacular vistas of autumnal colors or waterfalls, but small, intimate moments: a chair in a grandfather’s home, a grid of Polaroids on the breakfast table, rocks and driftwood on the banks of lake Ouachita, a boy and a girl set in silhouette around the flames of a backyard campfire.
That emphasis on the small scale, however, hasn’t been limited to the magazine this month. On the evening of March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, our associate editor, Wyndham Wyeth, became a father for the first time. Earlier today, the staff visited him and his wife, Autumn, to meet their little girl, Agnes. And I have to tell you: Sometimes the reasons we love this place are the very smallest of all.
You guys are quarterly now?
Yep! After some uncertainty earlier this year, we shifted to a new publication model, with four print quarterlies (you’ve got the first one in your hands), and eight digital replicas.
How do I get my digital magazine?
Great question! To download March’s issue—and for all future issues—we’d highly recommend getting the Arkansas Life app, which will automatically download the new issues to your device. Conversely, visit our issue archive where we’ll be archiving past editions.
What if I don’t have the app? I need to stay in the loop!
No problem! Visit our homepage and scroll down to subscribe to our newsletter. You’ll be the first to hear about new issues.
I have story ideas!
That’s not a question, but great to hear! Send them our way: firstname.lastname@example.org