I was born in the city and raised in the suburbs. The closest I came to a “country” upbringing was listening to my Dad’s Merle Haggard and Buck Owens records as a kid. I never really understood this whole love of the land thing I heard so many writers and country folk discuss.
While my roots are not country in the true sense, I married a woman whose family was in deep with living on and off the land. This farm is the place where my wife’s mother was born. Every year my in- laws make at least one pilgrimage to north central Michigan to spend a few days down on the farm. While it is a beautiful and peaceful place, that is not its real power. This place is a tonic, a visual or spatial fountain of youth for my Mother in- law. When her feet touch this soil you see years melt away. The restraints of old age no longer apply as she bounds through the high grass like the 14 year old girl of so many years ago.
I now understand the meaning of love of the land.