I drove until the sun shot out the rear mirror with a last burst of energy. And there were the hills I’d heard about since I was born. And they really did roll. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about them. If I had I don’t think I’d have taken that chance, the sun curling over the foliage, the smell of the forrest floor mulching itself. Everything around me captured in a routine that needed no part of humanity to continue on. And that was a good moment, that moment, because I needed the reduction. I needed to let out the chemicals controlling conceptual nuance in my brain, and let in that riotous smell of natural life coming to roost inside my head. And when I got back in the car, the sun was down. A few minutes back down the road, the journal of natural wonder leapt back into the darkness. I saw headlights stream into the back of my head and flicked the dial on the radio. Still, as the cars rushed past me in flashes of light and fuel and possible carnage, some kernel of the hills wending back into themselves remained quietly with me.
Photographs by Ted Hood
Words by Hank Cherry