Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Forever rooted to rural Minnesota September 13, 2013

Rural, barn and bins

RURAL MINNESOTA LONG AGO claimed my heart. It is the place where I grew up, the land I love, the connection to earth and sky and elements that, despite more than three decades of living in town, has never vanished.

Rural, roof collapsing

I’m rooted to the land and I find myself often longing to turn onto the gravel driveway, to swing open the creaky barn door, to follow the corn rows.

Rural, barn with windmill

I ache for the days when I lived on the farm. Sunset and sunrise unbroken by buildings. Wind rustling. The heady scent of freshly-mown alfalfa. The rich earthy smell of the land at planting time and harvest. Wagons brimming with corn. Quiet. Stars studding the blackness.

Rural, barn quilt

Today I still claim rural Minnesota—in my memory, through the lens of my camera, in the words I write. And that is my solace, the road I follow back home.

FYI: These edited photos were taken earlier this summer in the Vernon Center/Amboy/Truman area of southern Minnesota.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling