"rugged recall"the creative nonfiction of a dream that became a poetic reality
At the time I moved necessarily from the menacing climate that encroachingly enveloped my once-pastoral and effectively-isolated beachfront "island" Virginia homeland, I'd lived there year-round for over one-third of my life. During severe floods my hilltop house with diversely numerous outbuildings was cut off from all sides by muddily-enraged waves and calms of crescendoing Massanutten Mountain and Shenandoah River waters.
A deer with horns like a goat near the low edge of the greened slope by the dirt right-of-way distracted us by angrily ramming the free-standing tintype black covered barbecue grill as we watched enrapt, leaning and looking from the deck railing in hypnotized bewilderment.These hectares had belonged to mostly unfettered wildlife from muskie to eel and quail to pheasant and the ghosts of cougar to buffalo for nameless generations since the first compound amoeba rolled onto land safely deserted of dinosaurs until the gun-toting brigades of Y2K-era baltimore bigots built their shanties in connected cozies along the mountainsides to war Freedom Their Way in a secluded venue all their lonesome to retake and remake in the image of the savage white man unbound by and of his own country amidst the hand-fired bricks of bereft plantations crumbled tumbling from abandoned mortar near proudly well-kept slave cemeteries set off still by wrought-iron fences.
The hand-poled ferry taking farm families to their community-constructed one-room white clapboard-and-spired church alongside the road "down country," meaning toward the city, for transporting needed fresh produce to sell from the country store in exchange for urban cash and sugar, stalled and rotted on the inshore bank mid-century. The store and the church have survived to this day with restorative use and continuing maintenance through time's ravaging rampages of man and God.
related references:nytimes the-ferry-a-civil-rights-story