Elizabeth Harwell says Wendell Berry wounded her be reminding her how often she has moved around. She feels temporary, and that’s not how she grew up.
Because when memory calls me back to my childhood, I know that land. I can feel that grass under my feet. I know its broad green blades: fat-bottomed and rising to a rounded point. In my mind, I can split the blades into two pieces and I can remember the way the hanging fibers felt on my lips. I know the yellow dandelion blooms—and not only as a whole, but also, more clearly even, in its parts. I know the feel of the dandelion’s soft petals on the tip of my nose and the mustard-yellow streaks it would leave when I rubbed it across my palm. I can see its hosts of aphids working their way up the stems in crowded lines.
In truth, we do not have homes here; Christ has gone to make a home for us somewhere else, but he has left a well-stocked table for us here to remember him and all of the church.
“Our place is coming,” she says, “our people are here.”