To see and know a place is a contemplative act.
The earth was forcing me to not forget her.
My father believed the bedrock beneath our ranch—
once an immense sea—
was still alive, that natural rhythms persisted
in its sluggish consolidation.
He taught me to listen for echoes of breaking surf,
but I couldn’t hear them—
even at night with the wind quiet and my ear pressed
to an outcropping.
He believed the gravitational pull of a full perigee
moon could still move
the old limestone. He called it land tide. I thought
that, too, improbable,
until one night the moon rose so full of light we could
have counted the calves
in our pasture. Then, when its bottom edge caught
the crest of a hill,
and just as I felt the prairie lift and inch sideways
beneath my feet,
he said, There. That’s it.
I have never recovered from that night, or the weight
of his hand on my shoulder.