Pilgrimage to the Motherland

I took a drive back up in the holler. I wasn’t sure were I was headed, couldn’t even tell you were I was when I got there. I was hoping to find somebody sitting on the porch. I intended to pull up in the drive and ask them if I could sit on the porch with them. Only thing was all the front porch sitters were busy. So instead I just kept driving until I came to this rise in the road and saw that the sun was setting, and stopped.

 The farmer in the holler apparently isn’t used to strangers pulling up alongside the road to watch the sun slip away. He came to see if he could help me. I told him I was just enjoying the end of the day. He smiled and said it sure was pretty. I told him he sure was lucky to live and work in such a place. Yes, ma’am.

 I considered stopping to talk with Mr. Ed but he didn’t seem all that interested in swapping stories.

 Honeysuckle grows wild along the roadways here in these foothills adding a scent to the evening air that always smells of  my childhood. 

And this is the graveyard where I came as a child to bury my father and now come, this day, as a grownup, who still feels like the child, to do the same for Mama.

At a Country Funeral

Wendell Berry

What we owe the future   

 is not a new start, for we can only begin
with what has happened. We owe the future
the past, the long knowledge
that is the potency of time to come.
That makes of a man’s grave a rich furrow.
The community of knowing in common is the seed
of our life in this place. There is not only
no better possibility, there is no
other, except for chaos and darkness,
the terrible ground of the only possible
new start. And so as the old die and the young
depart, where shall a man go who keeps
the memories of the dead, except home
again, as one would go back after a burial,
faithful to the fields, lest the dead die
a second and more final death.

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About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.


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