It Becomes You
You walk along the edge of the fields.
In summer there is wheat here,
or corn, or peanuts,
and the path is the only way through
without risking damage to the crops.
Part of you grew up in this place,
far removed from your home in the city,
a place of pigs and late afternoons fishing
in the mill pond deep in the woods.
A summer escape from the place your body lived,
but never your spirit.
Your spirit was made for something different.
At least, that is how it seemed to most.
Not to you.
Here, you felt life, a thing far more vibrant
than neon and sidewalks,
more real than country clubs and the right clothes.
Here, you learned,
is where energy lived,
where life could not hide in the crowd.
Here, danger had not been erased from the equation.
Every movement, every choice mattered,
but there was no one to judge or rank or dismiss.
Just you and your God
and long conversations with yourself,
hours spent feeling a place more than seeing it,
watching the year’s crop,
day after day, no one day mattering, but over a season,
come to life, bear fruit and die,
only to resurrect and repeat the next spring.
You walk along the edge of their fields.
Your grandfather’s once. And after that, your father’s,
It feels strange, to own this land.
It does not feel like yours.
This was your birthing place, always someone else’s,
a place you were welcomed,
where you were allowed to grow wild as weeds,
where your roots delve deep as dandelions,
and just as eternal.
Did you belong here? No.
You were the city boy, the summer stranger,
always on the edge, never a part of this rural village.
You never belonged. No more than you belonged
in the suburban sameness of your 3 season home.
No, you did not belong,
but instead, the land became you.
The forests became you.
The silence, the wildness, the stillness,
complete with the buzzing of mosquitoes
and the distant knawing of beavers,
all it, you, not just here
but where ever you live.
About this poem
I was blessed to spend pieces of my summer at my grandparent’s farm in Surry County, Virginia. It was a relatively short portion of my life, but it lives in me far more than where I lived the rest of the time.
The picture is from my last visit to the farm, a couple of months ago.