With the engine idling, the gauge on the console read 104 degrees. I stepped out of my air conditioned car only to be enveloped by a sweltering, oppressive blast of heat. In front of me, sitting on a large expanse of open land the prairie house stood, lonely, waiting for another day and the heat to pass. Behind me, only 100 yards away, intruding into the moment, the constant drone of cars rushing north and south layered itself on top of the heat.
I worked quickly. My camera recorded the scene and my head recorded the moment.
My preference would have been to linger, soaking in the scene along with the heat, giving thought to the simplicity and pureness of a way of life erased by time. But the noise was relentless. It was a foreign few minutes. I felt like I was in a thin layer of space with the past in front of me and the future behind me. And my car, like a small space craft, was waiting for me to return to the safety of its confines and whisk me back to my universe.
Driving away, joining the orbit to the north, with the prairie house fading in my mirror, I wished there was a way I could turn my craft around and navigate back to the past, to the same exact spot, to enjoy the scene without the noise of the future clouding my vision. The heat would have been an undeniable way of life, and would subside. But the noise would only be a certainty of the future, slowly growing, imperceptibly, like the grass surrounding the prairie house.