by Lin Stone
© Copyright 2004 by Tale Wins.
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You don't think of beautiful sunsets coming from Arkansas.
They are rather rare, and rather beautiful.
It isn't so much that most sunsets aren't beautiful here;
it is that there is no place to take a picture FROM.
The hills get in the way.
The trees get in the way.
Buildings get in the way.
Even trucks are known to get in the way.
One day I was leaving Oden,
Maybe I'd better tell you where Oden is?
Oden is in the gentle mountains known as Ouachita.
Oden is on Highway 88 right after it branches off from US Highway 270 in Pencil Bluff.
Oden has a population of about 245, and people who don't know any better
are liable to write the little town off as insignificant.
But Oden is a hub of good, strong, righteous people who are proud,
proud of their little community, and proud of what they have accomplished
with their own hands and minds.
Every nickel in town has been nursed to do the work of a dollar.
The teachers are top notch; the students are better,
and both of them realize they have a heritage to keep alive.
If you have been guessing that I like Oden you are wrong.
I love it!
One day I was leaving Oden, heading towards Mena on Highway 88
and the sun was about an hour from setting, but the haze in the sky
was doing strange things with its particulates
and the sun was making a sunset an hour before it splashed behind the horizon.
The trees were getting in the way,
but the sunset was beautiful between the trees
for maybe a second at a time and no safe place to park.
The mountains were getting in the way
and lining up wrong, and stealing the glory., with no safe place to park
A line of trucks came by just as I was ready to shoot from the racing car on one curving hill.
Once there was a perfect shot through the open window as we raced around a
and the camera fudged beneath my sweating fingers.
Time was running out. As the sun continued to set I realized that
the best way to catch a beautiful sunset in the gentle hills of Arkansas
is to sit very, very still and let it sneak up on you.
The sunset continued to fade; the glory began to go.
Then there came this shot you see above, and I took it.
I know this one is absolutely beautiful,
but oh, oh, oh...
You should have seen the one that got away.
Lin Stone is an author, writer and photographer living in Mena Arkansas among the gentle mountains known as Ouachita. His articles and essays are syndicated by talewins to be published automatically on other web sites. He writes about adventures for Gates of Go, and he writes about the peaceable things of this world for Your Vacation World. In his spare time Lin writes copy for American Insurance Depot. You can have immediate, and free, reading of many more pieces when you send your little surfer scooting to Lin's home page at http://www.amazon.com/author/linstone/ where he keeps stirring up more good things for the soul.