Errol Hess, the son of a West Virginia factory worker, moved 300 miles south in the early 1970s to begin farming with his new wife. Together, they raised tobacco (to sell), vegetables (to eat), and a crop of healthy children.
Like many members of the back-to-the-land movement, the family fled the poverty of small-holding and returned to town a dozen years later. But their lives and the farm's soil were both left a little richer for their time spent listening to the land.
What a gift to see through my Dad's eyes when he was my age, and find not nostalgia but mirrored experience. Of not being from around here but finding ways to fit in, of building things up one bit at a time, fitting found shapes together into something larger, taking pride in work but accepting when it's washed away. Of falling into night sky.