Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Ridge

Looking up from the crazy stretch of the 15th to my road, there is a caravan trailer that the mountain reclaimed. It grew trees around it, embracing it, and lovingly decorated it with vines. There are many old bones of human habitation here. Some are old cars, sentinel chimneys and steps to nowhere. They stand, waiting for people long since dead, long since gone. And in the spring, their few living legacies, the flowers and alliums, will poke their heads above ground and weep for dead gardeners.

I woke to blowing snow that could not stay this morning. The weather, like the people, is transient here. It comes and goes, and while it is here, it pounds the earth. And when it is gone, it melts into the streams and springs and is never seen again.

It is folly to think that we make a lasting impact here. We are but snowflakes blowing on the mountain. The mountain doesn’t care that we leave our footprints here. She will lovingly cover them and take them into herself. Just as she does our bones, our lonely bones left in holes on the hillsides.


clydean said...

I was born in Warriormine, W.VA. McDowell County and experienced in my eyes, throat and ears, the unrelenting coal dust day after day created by the mining operations. The mining operations 'owned' the miners. Remember Tennessee Ernie Ford's lyric, "Don't call me Lord, cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store." ? There was a place in Warriormine called 'Shop Hollar' because it was where the miners and their families had to go to buy needed things. Such as FOOD, CLOTHES, little things....priced at 4 to 5 times market rate. The 'company store' was up Shop Hollar. The miners worked around the clock and never saw a check. The company store got it. The miners were basically 'conscripted workers'. If you can't afford a car, you can't leave. Their wages barely covered the basic necessities of life. I lived this and watched my grandmother suffer terribly when her coal miner husband, (my mother's father) died at age of 48 with silicosis. I say GD these coal mining industries that exploits the beautiful, faithful, genuine peoples of the Appalachins.

Rosie said...

Thanks for your input, Clydean. You know, someone else read this post as somehow saying that the mining operations were somehow okay. That's not the point here at all. Of course, the mountaintop mining is evil. This post is about the eternity of our mountains as compared to our own puny lifespans. We should save our mountains for ourselves and our grandchildren and great grandchildren. But in 100,000 years, I have no doubt these mountains will still be here and we, most likely, will not. In many ways, I think our environmental movement misnamed its battle cry. Instead of "Save the Planet", it more properly should be, "Save Yourself".