As the old home place and the fields, so changed now, came into view, I seemed to be grasping for something that couldn't be attained. I wanted to walk in the field where cucumbers and watermelons grew. I wanted to stand in the little pine thicket, once set on fire by lightning. I wanted to sit beneath a cedar at the edge of the strawberry patch and smell the sweetness of the ripe, red berries. I wanted to scrape soapstone from the banks of the ditch by the old garden, and put my foot in the branch where my paper dolls swam and crawdads grabbed eagerly for a piece of fat meat dangling from a string. I wanted to scour the hillside looking for the rocks that made our playhouses, and maybe find a glass mason jar lid from which our dolls had been fed. I wanted to taste the golden molasses, cooked at the old sorghum mill, and roll down the pile of pummies, swarming with yellow jackets and wasps. And most of all, I wanted to be where the old house had been, to see if something of it might still be there.
We drove across the top of Turkey Mountain, and I wondered if the trail we walked every day, to catch the school bus, was still there. I wondered if the sawdust pile and the slabs, on the side of the hill, had rotted away; I wanted to build another "cabin" with the slabs.
At the bottom of the hill, where the fence ran northward, we left the home place behind and came back to the present. I have a different life now; we've made memories, but nothing as profound as those of a little girl running wild and free over that rocky, hillside farm.