What is this land if not always changing?
The arid grass and live oak landscape, co-evolved with the rise and fall of the oceans. Expansion and contraction of the earth itself, as each turn causes an inhale and an exhale. Sturdy trees with roots deeper than our souls, mother trees tending the social creatures, all connected and talking to one another on scales not yet understood, sharing sustenance and calls for distress, and all the while, providing so much – a home, a shelter, a food, a calendar with its signal of verdant buds to tell when the bears would wake up, a provider of dye for tattoos to signify an age and a readiness, a medicine to heal infected wounds.
Razed to make way for the animals, carried here across ocean basins, grazing, stomping, snorting, kicking up dust in their wake, dropping invasive seeds here and there, turning over soil faster than it cared to be.
Then orchards. The jewels of red, orange, yellow, tangerine citrus dotting the deep green and dusty brown hillsides. Giving way to soft-skinned apricots and deep purple figs. The ground kept and swept empty between to avoid any competition for dwindling water tables.
Onward we go to the hilltop multi-million-dollar homes, set against a backdrop of pink sunsets, cloud-free skies, bluebird days across the coastal mountain ranges. Silicon, devices, attention dispersed, looking down rather than at the sky, looking down rather that at each other, the noise so loud we cannot hear the messages from in front of us and from the beyond.
To whatever comes next.
Fire and water and mud taking back what was always theirs. They lay in wait for years, centuries, plotting and maneuvering. Until the skies opened and rained down hail, thunder reverberated through chest cavities and between heartbeats, and lightning illuminated the world as it is and as it was, if even for a moment.
Does the land know how to return to itself?
What is this land if not always changing.