“Beyond” always has a quality of mystery to me. What is beyond there–there where I can see? What am I not seeing? And what calls me to the emptiness of places.
This photo, at first glance, is a simple one. A Kansas fence, a field, open space. Only the “open space” is history and legend. My family migrated in covered wagons across those hills into Kansas. The century-old hedge posts came later along with the barbed wire.
Perhaps it’s because my family on both sides were pioneers, and perhaps because I read too many Zane Grey novels; but I can imagine smoke on the horizon and Native Americans watching from the edge of a rise.
My great-grandfather’s mother, Lucinda Moore, had five husbands all told by the time she traveled from New Salem, N.C. to Jewell County, Kansas. The date of her arrival in Jewell County with the final husband, Moore, coincided with the year of the last Indian raid in that rolling country bordering Nebraska–Nebraska only ten miles away on the horizon from where this photo was taken, south of Highway 36 and north of Barnes, Kansas.