Monday, April 6, 2009

Sorry about yesterday’s entry.  I thought I was going to have enough time to write, but it didn’t work out that way. But definitely—until the land begins to speak through you, you haven’t yet become naturalized to a place.

I’m beginning to fear that I’m becoming naturalized here.  The reason I fear it is because I’ve so desperately needed to get back to my beloved Pennsylvania, but if I fall in love with the land here, I may never make it back.  It’s really weird what’s happening to me.  I know I sort of described it two entries ago, but I feel like I need to delve into it a bit more.  On Friday, Collin and I took a long way home, just to explore some territory we hadn’t explored before.  At Hudson, instead of continuing on I-76, we took highway 52 from there to Wiggins.  If I-76 is the hypotenuse of a right triangle, then highway 52 makes up the two legs—it travels east and then makes a 90 degree turn to the north.  Anyway, it was quite a pretty drive, and at one point this wild little hill appeared, with some old relic of farm machinery sitting on it and the remnants of a homestead on the flat ground below.  I don’t know what happened, but some switch seemed to flip inside of me and I was transported back in time to the 1800s.  It was like none of the modernized farms surrounding it existed—like everything modern had been completely blotted out.  I saw (and felt) through different eyes, a different reality.  It was a total immersion in the feeling-sense of a different era and lifetime.  Impossible to describe, but what a profound ache it left in my heart.  We’ve all but obliterated that way of life and deprived ourselves of that way of experiencing the land.

All weekend long that place had me in its grip.  I kept fantasizing about it—what it would be like to live there in a crude little house, to be intimately fused with the energy of that spot.  Lately, it’s been this cloying need to have my bare feet on the ground—so much so that I’ve been imagining these simple houses with dirt floors.  Dirt floors and just a small lip of stone at the doorway separating the inside dirt from the outside dirt.  Just a lip to keep the puddles outside if it rains.  I picture myself with my bare feet on that dirt, connected at all times to the earth.  I have such a desperate hunger for that kind of connectedness.

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