Do you have a place to go that no one else knows? I do. It’s a place where you go when you need to be alone. A place of peace. I had three places of peace back in Kansas. I wouldn’t say people didn’t know about it. I would say the places were so obscure that they are easily missed by those who don’t take the time to stop and notice the beauty these hidden treasures.
One place I like to go is called the Mound. It’s a hill that overlooks the city. You can see for miles. It’s one of the only tallest hills that we have in the city. As most people know, geographically, Kansas is flat. Nothing but rolling hills, plains and prairies. The hill was no mountain, but to me it was the closest thing I had. It’s a trek to get up there can be treacherous because of the loose rocks, overgrown brush and tall grass that tickled your ankles. Once you get past the winding path, rocks strategically placed like stairs welcome you as you finish your journey to the top. A manmade rail is placed near the rocks to help support you on your climb. I never use it. The climb is difficult, but the view is breathtaking. The skyline of the capital city is beautiful. My favorite thing to look at is the capital. I look for the small speck which is the Native American who aims his bow to the North Star. I like to come here as the sun begins to set and the stars come out. Sometimes I make a wish.
Another place I like to go is more obscure. There is a name for this place, but I don’t know it. It’s what adds mystery to it. I know how to find it. Near the end of 6th street there are few side roads right before you hit a roundabout. You have to know which road to take. As you drive down the road it gets darker because of all the trees. The drive feels like forever unit you reach the end where you cross the train tracks and then pull into a small parking area. Not many people know about this place because it’s where fisherman go to place their boats in the water. I found this place driving around with a friend when we were looking for somewhere quiet to park. I kind of adopted the spot after the fact. When you get out all you hear is crickets and gentle rush of the Kansas River knocking against the boat ramp. The sloshing sound is quite relaxing. I like to go and lay on the boat ramp with my toes inches away from the water. I’ll close my eyes and imagine I’m laying on the beach with sun kissing my face. I am relaxed. Kansas is far from the beach, but I still like to believe this is the next best thing. I mean the fish smell really sells it!
The last place I like to go is the Brown vs. the Board of Education Museum at the old Monroe School. Why a museum? Museums are quiet and evoke thought. It’s like the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Cameron makes a connection with one of paintings. Although this museum is not full of paintings, it still draws me in. When you first step into the building it immediately feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Transported back to the civil rights era of the 1960’s. The cold brick, the “white/black only” signs, the old pictures and videos of the people during the era and their ignorance. Seeing all that reminds me that in that instance all the small problems I have don’t matter. There is something else out there bigger than me or my problems. The whole world is much bigger. It’s the connection of the place. This place brings me back to reality.
I have yet to find my place of peace here in Nevada, but when I do I will make sure that place is as special as these places in Kansas are to me. Because right now I wish I could have my place of peace. I need some time to myself.