Stroll | Kure Beach, NC | 2016

One glorious quality of the American landscape is its vast emptiness. Yes, cities are suffocatingly crowded. Highways a knotted tangle. And popular beaches and parks a mass of humanity. But it’s easy to escape all that (really, it is) and be totally — or almost totally — alone. Best example: A drive across the Great Plains, where clouds, grasses and you are the only things moving for miles. Too far? The beach in this photo lies just 15 minutes from a city of 120,000. And five miles from where I sit now ( a metro area of 50,000) is a farm road that probably gets fewer than three cars a day. Make that two cars and one tractor. The point is that we’re lucky to have space — lots of heavenly space — that, for me at least, feeds the soul.