(My class, "Writing Place: Landscape, People, and the Natural World," on Whitehead Island, Maine, August 17 to 20 has only 2 spots left. http://www.whiteheadlightstation.org/programs.html)
Entering the Abandoned Grain Mill at Dusk
It’s as if generations of bells accompany us – cow, sheep,
the rituals of being human. They carry the lengthening shadows
and are in turn carried as our small processional, like a band of peasants,
rings through. The trail is clear and we have only to follow.
We have only to follow, and the walk, not far, is far enough to move
through field, past barking dogs, along the road and into brushy woods
as the sun’s last red lingers on tree trunks and fence posts. We find the
approach through dried grasses has been swept clean.
The approach has been swept clean. Spent seed heads mark the edges.
We enter shyly. How will we touch loss, rambling architecture made only
by what was at hand? Rooms that once had functions and names now
spaces open to the sky, millstones still and silent, not a speck of grain.
Not a speck of grain. Everything that could be taken away, taken away.
We each make our own associations here, layers of peeling white stucco
revealing lives lived. We are old enough to know those things that have
finely ground us down over time: sometimes to dust, sometimes to flour.