Return to the Land
Deep within me resides the longing to return to the land. I suppose growing up on ten acres in the Midwest planted those seeds. I have fond memories of digging my toes into cool freshly tilled soil and running unrestrained through rural vistas void of concrete obstacles. Transplanted by marriage from north to south; from country to city, and eventually suburbia, I gradually adapted to smaller spaces, but the fondness of good soil, the dependable turn of seasons, and the unbridled love of space never left.
This summer presented the opportunity to once again visit the land of my youth. There on my cousin’s farm, I grappled with a tiller as it tore up chunks of hardened sod and quack grass. Working side by side, I helped to clear her beloved memory garden. It sits apart, surrounded by fields under a tree where her son loved to camp. There the wind tussled our hair as we talked and sorted out the myriad of memories that it bore, some joyful and others too terrible to keep. She showed me how to divide clumps of miniature iris for the garden’s border. Then I dug little holes and planted two long rows of the leafy bulbs. Finally, we watered them in with jugs brought from the farm.
One day’s labor cannot create a garden, but we made a start. I pray that the work shared on this little patch of ground will produce along with its tribute of flowers the fruit of comfort and healing in my cousin’s heart. For me, reconnecting with family and the land I so love should keep me for awhile—I think.