Our driver quietly explains:
During the war years there was a time. A time when no one would drive this road. So many had died their bodies piled up and filled these fields as far as you could see. The stench of death was so strong for six months no one came here anymore.
I reel stunned at the impact of his hushed narrative.
Faces flash before my eyes. What if? No, too terrible. Precious lives I can’t even go there. Tears well hot in my eyes.
So many I meet have family buried in these fields. Dreams of loved ones buried in the earth, planted too soon, violently ripped from their destinies. Loss was in the land and yet the land moves on. Where these children stand, not long before pain and grief and destruction stalked the night. Do they know where they walk? Bones beneath their feet, blood still crying from the ground.
Realization dawned deep, these were fields of buried dreams. What does one get when a dream is planted in obscurity, walked upon unaware? Might a new generation step into inheritance and run and fly beyond even destinies of yesterday cut short?
These strong stoic people who look loss in the eye and dare it to come again. These ones who live by the rains and the land and grace itself. These ones who lean hard into family and sacrifice to love their neighbor as themselves. These precious ones who welcome strangers and entertain angels unaware.
We drive on in silence. The land echoes loud the stories spilled into its cracks and covered over by time. In the silence, I can hear it cry. Remember. Inside, I drink in the new green and the dreams beneath and I will drink slow, drink long so I too never forget.