Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Greens of Tennessee

As I write this, I can look out my window and see the dried vegetation in the field across the street. Further out, our hills are covered in tan and the mountains that loom over our small valley, are different shades of brown. Except for the trees and plants watered daily in our valley, our summer colors are brown and tan.  

Tennessee was a revelation. Never do I remember seeing so much green. Everywhere you turn, the greens are overwhelming. It was like being transported to a different planet.

This is the view from where the home place stood. This is where my grandfather would have played as a child and farmed as a youth. All of the land between the road and the house to the river was planted. In the center of the picture is the Clinch River. I didn't have a visual from the older pictures but now see that the river was very much a part of their lives. My great grandmother talks about flooding and now I see why.

This photo was taken in 1982. My dad, on the left, is with two of his cousins. This was his first trip to Tennessee and the first time he saw the home place. Somewhere between then and now, the house burned and is no longer there. What is left is the foundation. 

This appears to be what is left of the pump house, which was on the left in the picture above. The forest is taking back its own and this is all that's left. What struck me is that although the house is gone and those who lived here are gone, the foundation of our family still stands. And while the forest may eventually obscure all,  the mark they made on this land will never diminish.