A Conversation with the Land

old photo farmhouse

The Story Keeper:

I have written many love letters to the land. I send them by clouds of tiny birds or through the rain. The land doesn’t know this, but it is always on my mind. I carry it around with me like clods of dirt that spill from my pockets. The land doesn’t see the way people look at me as I shed dirt on their clean floors.

At night I dream of the land. It hovers there in sepia tones. The old land, the lost land. I can see it because there is no time in the dream world. I wander through the lost meadows passing horse-drawn plows and groves of apple trees. The foxes pause in their dancing and look at me. They know I am just a dream. My father doesn’t remember this, but he even showed me the old wellspring once. We had climbed the farmhouse stairs and the hallways turned to forest as fine and gray as a pencil drawing. We were in the hovering farm, the old land, and there, shrouded by trees, was the wellspring. I drank the water that bubbled up from the soul of the land.

I wish I knew what the land thought of me.

The Land:

There is nothing like the feeling of wind racing through my trees.

The Story Keeper:

I wonder how the land perceives any of us? Are we unique or merely a ceaseless stream of ever-shifting weights that press tiny feet upon its skin? And what is the weight of one body to the land? The weight of a sparrow bobbing on a stalk of timothy? The weight of its song?

When someone dies, we cut open the land and return them to its it loamy womb. The land holds us close to its soil heart until we become one.

The Land:

I contain a multitude.

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