Before I moved to the mountains of Idaho, I lived in New Jersey. The noise and the light pollution and the greyish skies and the overcrowding and the endless sea of tiny boxes that I saw out my window were driving me to madness.
The street light shining through my bedroom window all night.
The neighbor's backyard floodlight that was on all night long, beaming through the crack of window that my kitchen shade didn't cover, bouncing off the woodwork, and illuminating the interior of my darkened house.
The leaf blowers. The constant, crazy-making leaf blowers.
The highway noise, always a constant hum in the background.
And row after row after row of houses. Box after box after box. Ever notice how there are no boxes in nature?
Shortly before I left New Jersey behind for good, I took a hike through Cheesequake State Park. Damage that had been done by Hurricane Sandy a few months earlier had left the park looking very changed.
I took this photo there, and titled it: There's still time to change the road you're on.
Soon after, I was road tripping cross-country in a rented RV with my husband Max and 4 cats—moving over 2,000 miles away to Teton Valley, Idaho. In my new home I am surrounded by open space, snow-capped mountains, wildlife and deep blue skies. Yellowstone National Park, one of the quietest places in America, is a short distance away. And there are no street lights in my neighborhood.