High atop Stone Mountain the broad-winged hawk perches, twisting his head this way and that peering down watching zeroing in…
From where he sits, the long trunked white pine’s roots break through the earth, ends tapping onto stone that formed below the surface — a hot molten lava mound now cooled and skirting the sky after wind and water and time sent soft earthen layers to the valleys below.
Along the valley a stream runs, branching through rocky passages and well-worn paths, reaching a homestead and flowing below an empty springhouse which is cooled from the earth’s watery insides.
What would we keep cool were we milling hay or shucking corn on the old homestead where rusty, weathered equipment lets the land grow up around it. Equipment so tied to the land on which it sits, if you don’t look close enough, you’ll miss where the earth ends and man’s ingenuity begins.
A white-tailed deer freezes. Stares. Darts past an ancient outcrop into old growth scarlet oaks and hickory trees.
Three baby hares chase mama to the blackberry brambles.
This land is alive. The stone, a chest swelling with the breath of the earth…
Do not make a sound. You’ll hear the pileated woodpecker – tut-tut-tut-tut-tut – then the swoosh of the broad-winged hawk as he soars from view— a speck aloft a dot in the sky
Jenny Bowman is a freelance children's book editor and an aspiring children's book author. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or losing track of time on the beach.