Well, we are back in Atlanta after a quick, two-day trip up to North Carolina–and back to stable internet access. A quick recap of yesterday, as promised:
I took the boys up to the old family cemetery–I knew where it was, roughly speaking, but I don’t think my wife or my mother-in-law had ever taken me there. It’s just about a half mile from our home, and right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The boys read the dates and names on their great-great grandparents’ gravestones, laid out next to the graves of the five children they lost, all under the age of three years old (three of the markers read “infant” instead of bearing a name). Not too far from these children’s plots laid the grave of their great-grandmother’s first born, who died after just a day. We talked about how hard life was in the country one hundred years ago. And we talked about how long their mother’s side of the family had lived up on this ridge.
The rain started to roll in–big, thick drops falling behind a strong, cool breeze. We started walking the half mile home, then started to jog, debating whether or not running in the rain gets you more wet than walking. But the rain turned out to be a just a passing band of showers and soon tapered off, leaving us mostly dry for the remainder of our walk down the hill and along the ridge that had once all belonged to their great-great grandfather. We paused for a bit down in the field, next to the barn that has been standing there for five generations.
It seemed important to me yesterday to give the boys a sense of their connection to this little corner of the High Country–their past as well as their future.
Today–or tonight, rather–I am also thinking about the past and the future. We have connections to people in Atlanta, but less so to place. Perhaps that’s more the rule than the exception these days. I can’t help but wonder how those connections will change in the coming months and years–who will remain in our ongoing and evolving present and who will become a part of our history.
And what, if anything, will mark our time together? Certainly nothing as permanent as a plot of land, or a well-built barn upon a mountain ridge.
Well… this blog entry is turning into another one of those overly reflective pieces, isn’t it. I better quit while I’m ahead….