Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sussurous...

Yesterday, my accomplice and i drove up to a smallish town in north central OK. It's where my roots are. We had some business to attend to and although it was a long day, it is always nice to drive through the tallgrass prairies.

At one point on the return journey, i told him that the land there in that section of Oklahoma calls to me, its something almost innate. I explained that my great grandfather made his start there. But before that, in 1916, he loaded up his entire family into two cars and made a long, circuitous trek from north central Oklahoma, all the way to the California coast (remember...there was no Route 66 or I-40 then). He was looking for land, good land to build a ranch on, and probably in his entreprenurial mind, his empire. He found nothing better than right here in Oklahoma. Now, i could go on and on about the family history from there, as interesting as it is, but i won't, it's not the point of this.

The point is...there is something about that land up there. More than nostalgic, deeper than sentimentality...its an elemental indwelling that, as a deeply buried coal begins to glow calid when a breeze kindles the inherent pyre within, so the wind bending the goldening wheat across the rolling green grasslands of northern Oklahoma in my own soul.

Is that what they felt...my forefathers? If so, i understand why they settled there. It's good land...for good people.

But i still wonder...the connection that man has with the earth. When one's forebears have shed blood, sweat, and tears over sod, they were born there and there they are buried...is there some tenuous, yea, spiritual connection with it in those that continue? Does the past still whisper on the very wind that turns grass into a virescent ocean? If so, i can hear it when i visit there...and i remember the men and women who have made me who i am.

7 comments:

Bag Blog said...

Mountains do it for me. It is like the mantle of our father's and grandfather's has been placed around our shoulders - sometimes giving us a double portion. I don't think this is always a blessing - sometimes it is a stronghold to be overcome.

Buck said...

Much has been written about man's connections to the land, where ever that land might be. The English-speaking poets are big on this subject and can be mystical about it... particularly the English themselves.

But yeah... the land is in us, and we're in the land. The folks with direct connections in this space are fortunate, indeed. (As opposed to us life-long itinerants with no connections at all...)

diamond dave said...

Hmmm... I kinda found myself partial to the desert when I lived in California. Though rolling green hills will do it for me too, in a pinch.

Sea-gal said...

There is something about the earth. It can be barren and fertile, hard and yielding at the same time, kind of like ourselves sometimes. It's like the old man and the new man. My dad instilled a love for the land in me and an awe and respect for the people who lived, laughed and loved before me on this very spot of land that we call home. Personally, I'm torn between the ocean and this spot in Oklahoma - each fills a specific need in my life and soul.

Deb said...

My land connection would be the rolling farm land of NW Ohio. I can totally relate to the draw on the soul and the land of our forefathers even if mortal relations are non existent.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

Its an interesting concept...and you find it the world over. I'm not so sure its godly or righteous to be drawn to something as temporal as the land, but the attachment is there nonetheless...to be dealt with one way or the other.

Bou said...

It is the mountains for me... and I do believe it is genetic in some way.

And as much as I HATE the cold, cannot stand it... the cold barren rocky places. I feel a pull there, even though I know I could not physically take it.