Friday, June 24, 2011

The Dig

Years ago I read The Source by James Michner. As I read it, I knew it would become one of my favorite books. The story is about an archeological dig. Layers as far back as the cave man were built on over the centuries. Wars destroyed villages, and new generations built something new in the same spot.

I have said in the past that our farm was built on Native American land. The remnants were evident every time Dad plowed the fields. However, there was transition in our time back that lane. A time when a strip shed became a garden A garage became a grassy hill. A chicken yard became another place to mow. A grassy creek side became a woods. There were changes on that Loxley farm and more since the Loxley's left that land.

The old barn was probably one of my favorite places on the farm. The old barn probably held ghosts that called to me. I was never afraid in the old barn with spiders and critters running away when I walked into the empty shed. There was a peace inside the greyed wall. I could see the green farm through the broken boards and knot holes.

When Dad said he was tearing it down, my heart ached. I could no longer sit with my friend, the barn, smelling the past, remembering winter time spent in the strip shed, sitting on the old implements in the back part of the barn and sitting with my horse, legs hanging over the floor of the barn through one of those missing boards.

Dad and Mom put a garden in the place where the old shed had resided the decades of its life. The old garden spot turned into more mowing and their garden flourished where the old shed stood.

On my last visit, I walked the yard for the first time since we walked away from it in 2001. A new barn had been erected where the old shed and garden had laid claim. A new layer had been added to the once Indian land that lay beneath.

The layers of the land were also layers of me.

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