I have wandered the mad streets of NYC, the crooked cow paths of Boston, sprawled down the gravity defying hills of San Francisco, and chased friends down countless carefully cultivated suburbs… but, this tiny little town in the middle of East Texas Nowhere, it had the most beautiful back alley i’ve ever come across.
I wandered into this town after my jaunt in Farmersville , parking the car in the slightly shady lot of a discount dollar store that had mustachioed guys hanging out of huge trucks with badly drawn tattoos lining their slightly greased up arms. The dust swirled in the warm air from passing trucks and I wondered if maybe this would be a bust, if perhaps I shouldn’t get back in the car and keep going elsewhere. I also wondered, after wandering down this back alley with glittering broken glass scattered here and there in the brilliantly green grass, if maybe this would also be the town I finally got a shotgun to the face for mistakenly trespassing onto private property. (This is more common than you would think…..the mistaken jaunt onto private property I mean, not the shotgun. Although, shotguns ARE very common here of course)
Thankfully, I found only hidden gems of light and lushness, and not a one shotgun to be seen. I know it would be easy to see this place as something ugly, to turn the lens a different way, to use a different filter and write at length about the decay of these small almost-no-name towns and the problems that plague them at length but…it can be JUST as easy, if you have the mind for it, to turn your eyes into multi-layered viewers and appreciate the life thriving here. I don’t seek to romanticize small town life, but I also don’t find joy in tearing it down. I just want to be able to see the beauty that surrounds me, anywhere I find myself.