After an incredible week teaching at Longwood Gardens, Stacey and I took a quick road trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country to quiet our heads and drive up and down bucolic country roads filled with horse-drawn carriages and buggies. (Yes, there's a difference.) The sense of relaxation we felt was wonderful despite my stopping the car every few hundred yards to jump out and shoot something or other. Often it was just to send short films of the farm animals to Jessica for no other reason than to share the peacefulness we were feeling. Of course, we would stop for whoopee pies (and by we I mean I) at the local farmstands and be charmed by the children we often found running the shops while their dads tended to the harvesting and their moms tended to the weed-whacking. (More on this in another post.) Where there are farm stands, there are farms (duh) with vast cornfields, beautiful vegetable patches and magnificent flower gardens the Amish take such pride in. What I wasn't aware of was how much tobacco was grown in Pennsylvania and found myself quickly enamored with the tobacco barns and their hanging bouquets of leaves. At one such farmstand, run by two of the most adorable children imaginable, was a tobacco drying barn and I asked the children to please ask their parents if I might take a picture or two. (I am well aware of the Amish preferring to not be photographed and I always ask.)
The boy ran to the house while the girl ate a whoopee pie and made small talk with us. He came back grinning and then the daughter accompanied me to the barn to show off all the treasures inside. I busied myself with the tobacco and tractors for a few minutes and then turned around to the picture below (followed by a few others where her smile literally filled the frame.) This one spoke the loudest to me: of things incredibly quiet and reverent.