The only way I’d ever know would be to take off through the woods, haphazard but determined.
There’s an open field between two county lines and I slow down and submit to its calling.
Every single time.
There are not many cars, I press the button, lower the window and randomly, but with intention, I hope to capture this place.
There are photos on my phone.
Today, I decided the sky more magnificent here, the red tipped wild spreading weeds that convince me of flower, they are more special here too.
This place that sits in the middle of two county lines, Bulloch and Jenkins and Screven, a border, I realized on the other side of the field that turns my head.
Because I drove on towards the turn towards Rocky Ford, thinking I should go, travel about seven or so minutes then turn right then another right and then a left to the place at the bottom of the clay slick road.
The Hendrix Cemetary, where my mama and my daddy lay and rest.
I don’t turn. I don’t know why or I do know; but, I feel horrible to say I don’t.
They are not there. To visit the stones marked by name and date, I suppose feels obligatory, an act expected.
So, I consider the turn, plenty of time; yet, I decide it is better to go home.
So, I go on, for only a bit feeling disloyal or unfit and hours later, I’ve decided, the field that causes me to look, I believe it leads to that place.
If I might set out one day, I believe it would be true. The open field that slows my travel is the one that sits in the shadow of the high hill and the tall cedars that shade the graves of the ones who made me, me.
Yes, this is why the sky seems more ready to meet me, the field more inviting and the road less long and never ending.
Because of the nearness, the nearness of them.
I prefer to notice the clouds, full to the point of bursting and the wide open field beneath that beckons me every single time I travel on my path from Georgia back to Carolina
And underneath what I’ve decided now is just a walk through the woods that makes and has made sense all along.
I felt them; yes, I felt them near and I paused to be sure.
To be sure.