My Turf

7:08 PM

It's not much. "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." Most people think that the country is a dirty place; the "hillbillies" don't know anything. That's why they live where they do. But I can say one thing for hillbillies--we're loyal.

I'm happy right were I am. There's the woods and cornfield behind me. The purple mountains surround me. And there's a blue-gray sky above me. Birds are chirping. At this time in March, the air is crisp, and smells of woodsmoke. There is a group of evergreens, as tall as towers, standing straight like soldiers, in my neighbor's yard. A winding path runs through the woods, suggesting mystery. And all the while, the sinks--now named Meadows Lake--lies, deadly at times, a breathtaking wonder. The stone walls add a sense of rusticity.

All these things are part of me. I would defend any of those in a heartbeat. I suppose that's why the ideas for Rebel Yell and My Meadows stick with me, while all others fade away; because in those stories, there is a lot about loyalty to the land. I think I may understand how a lot of the Confederates felt in the Civil War. It's a very complicated feeling, but I think I really do have an idea.

Right now, the sky is turning gray, half from the night, and half from the rain clouds. The trees are gently swaying in a small breeze. The grass is yellow, but it will turn green in a few weeks. Mist is hanging over the valley. The woods are purple. A few birds are fluttering back and forth. Not much, maybe. But I love it with all my heart. I can picture gray soldiers coming out of the woods, like ghost, and it inspires scenes for my book. The clouds have smoothed out, and the sky now looks creamy. This is my turf. And when I come home from church on Sunday, it's like seeing an old friend after being separated for years and years. I know where the crooked fencepost is; I know where the old, run down mill is; and it's mine. It's where I live, and I love it. It's my realm.

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