Anyone who’s ever been on a journey into the unknown knows that the adventure doesn’t really begin until things go awry.
Recently I met up with a group of Fayetteville ladies to break in some new tees from the fresh Fayettechill women’s line. With three different Ozark destinations in mind to explore, we managed to get lost while lost in route to the first of our off-the-grid locations. This landed us stuck, tires of an old Chevvy truck spinning, in an unknown creek bed. When you’re with the right people, these unplanned micro-cataclysms feel less like a reason to sound the panic alarms and more like the unfolding of a moment whose flavor will grow sweeter with time.
After some comical attempts to push the truck out of it’s sinking rut, a friendly southern-bred fella named Dave came spudderin’ through the creek brush on a four-wheeler to check on us. He lives in ear-shot of this river-passing and tells us, “every once in a while I’ll hear tires spinnin’ and know exactly where someone tried to push their luck.” Minutes after Dave’s initial introduction he left on his ATV and returned on a tractor. We pulled the truck out with a chain, celebrated our return to dry, drivable land & realized that we had shipwrecked on a particularly beautiful slice of Ozark heaven...
The Ozarks are a lovable place for many reasons. While other regions of the US are distinguished by their specific feature (whether it be the desert’s vastness, the towering mountain’s vertigo or the ocean’s display of the infinite), Mother Ozark is more modest in her beauty. Archetypally speaking, the spirit of nature has always been represented as feminine. Within this spirit lies both the seed of life from which all else flows, as well as the power to destroy it. Death & resurrection is the pattern embedded in life itself—it’s seen in the seasons throughout the year, it’s felt when we learn something new, and it’s embodied when our expectations of planned adventures get detoured and replaced with the magic of going with the flow.
Stepping into the “flow” on this particular evening brought us downstream. It brought us to a chunk of rock surrounded by trickling falls, polished by water and time, to rest upon for a snack. The flow brought us up into trees, and down under into swimming holes framed by dusty outcroppings and swaying branches of river flora. We closed our evening, by popping the shell off the Chevvy's truck-bed for a sunset drive. Gulping in the sweet cedar air, we filled to our brims with the contentedness that can only be found when you say “yes” to the invitation life offers: to let your own desires die so that a deeper desire can be satiated.
Photos & words by Henry Head. Henry resides in Branson, Missouri & is an photographer, avid traveler, and thrill seeker. He's been doing photo work with the Fayettechill team since Summer of 2015. You can find more of his writing + photograph on his website or instagram, @henryoheadphotography.