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Beth Mcfarland

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Roots

Some memories were laid down before we had words to describe them—the colour of the glowing embers just before I touched them and learned they were hot; the heaviness of the water pump handle; the wide, deep, starry darkness, free of harnessed electricity. These impressions stay with us always.

Other fragments emerge now and again as tales for our children—the aunt who let us use real flour for our mud pies in the yard; the twin who went down a fairy tunnel under the river. There was a mound where the little people lived, and a drystone wall where instinct told us to place our offerings for them. In the name of progress, the cottage and the surrounding hills were flattened and levelled years ago.

  homeplace—
we’ll know the lane
when we see it