Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Limestone & Pumice

There is beauty, even among the thorns.
Growing up on ten acres of Virginia farmland can impress on a young mind just how much land there is in ten acres. I think I've always carried that in the back of my brain sort of like one carries other tidbits that you use throughout a life. Information that is stored as a yardstick to measure future encounters. I think I've always wanted to own some land ever since then. I used to wander off alone. Find a small creek among the many forested hills around our ten acres. Listen to the water as it flowed over and around the stones and trees that had fallen across it's path. Feel the soft moss that had grown under the limbs of pine trees nearby. My family and relatives were and still are people that are close to the land. Since leaving those acres way behind some time ago I have carried that love for the land with me and have often missed it's company when I found myself living in cities and encircled by the wonders of concrete and hot pavement. I have often wondered how many ever take the time to actually bend down near the earth to look at it closely, to see what happens down there where they absentmindedly put their heavy soles step after step? Who takes the time to stop and scoop up in their hands, some dirt, and feel the coolness against their own skin, the texture of the grains as they slip through their fingers?

Now, thirty years later, the opportunity has arrived to be able to use that "ten acre" memory and measure it against my own twenty acres here in Terlingua country. I have bent down and smelled the earth, felt it in my hands, and marveled at the stones scattered across this patch of land. I purchased twenty acres in Terlingua two years ago and finally was able to walk onto something that didn't involve a landlord and call it mine.

On this plot of land there is an abundance of plants, animals, and stones. But to see it and know it for what it is...you have to sit still, like a cat sits, and watch as the land becomes accustomed to the presence of someone else. Allow it to know you and then, it's as if by magic, it begins to show you its' secrets.

I'm sure that there are other places just like this but perhaps this plot seems especially unique since it is a place where I can go and be me.