Pulled by some indistinct calling, she walked west, toward the sunset in the open sky above a corn field. She was answering a higher voice that told her to head to her homeland, and to do ceremony to heal her father’s lineage. Not knowing what she would be asked to do, but knowing enough to follow this voice that had guided her so well, she followed. And here, back in her home state after a long day on the road, she sniffed the air and felt something stir within her.

The pavement parking lot of her hotel yielded to wet grass, then higher grass, then rows and rows of ripe corn. The cicadas sung in waves over the distant roar of the eighteen-wheelers on I-95 behind her, and a soft, warm breeze mussed her hair. A dragonfly flirted with her, landing next to her feet, then flying up to her opposite side, landing again and cocking its head as if trying to place her face from a distant memory.

The moment she stepped on the grass, something changed in her body…universes collided within her, the 48 years of travel and education and trials and learning, a family raised, fortunes lost, adventures had, tragedies borne….all collapsed in a moment in that contact with the earth of her Carolina. And there was a distinct motion downward, as if the cells and the very marrow in her bones looked toward the earth below her feet in unison and shouted “HOME”. At that infinite moment, which took all of 1.5 seconds, she understood what it meant to belong to the land. A singular moment of recognition, but not in a mind way. It was her body that told her she was home.

-copyright Licia Berry 2013

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