When I come to this place I always take off my shoes even though there are rocks, walnuts, and red clay underfoot. Many steps on this overgrown homestead have given me sure footing and I can run over the imperfections that build this space.
As a child I wandered here, wondered here, belonged here. I have made the trek from tree to tree in the pitch black night. I know this land better than any other and I could walk it blindfolded, hands at my side never feeling for obstacles — I know the paces to each old haunt — I do not need my sight.
From a mile out you can smell the sweet gardenias becon. A scent that fills the empty house, it peruses every crack and crevice of the home like a curious child. Subtly it fills the air, fills the explorer heart and lungs and soul and gently kisses the inhabitants of this hollowed ground.
Clocks tick and echo and chime and cuckoo a steady beat that kills any silence within and outside birds call each other names, chase each other, and love each other — being as invested in the limbs and roots of this place as the larger inhabitants are. Each being that lives here works to make a habitat of grace and smooth waters and soft winds.
When I come to this place I always take off my shoes — the place where I am standing is holy ground.