“It’s so flat, you can stand on a bucket and see tomorrow”

This quote from a resident of Boise City, Oklahoma hit home the feeling that time and space are closely connected in the flat rural environment of the plains. We have talked a lot about how things seem to move slower, or these small towns feel stuck in the past. Driving through the panhandle of Oklahoma, the landscape was the flattest it had been the whole trip. There is so much space in every direction that it is easy to imagine that time has to move slower to fill all the space. The whole trip, we have been observing and learning about rural environments and the people that inhabit them.  I have tried to be mindful to listen, remain open, and not make assumptions and generalizations about the places and people we have visited.  That being said, it is hard to imagine how living in this landscape with this much space changes the way people perceive the world.  I do not mean that everyone living in rural environments thinks the same or has the same experience, but after just two weeks on the road, I can feel my perspective shift slightly.