From the patch, I could see several acres of farmland spread out underneath the blue sky. Two turkey buzzards patrolled a far pasture. A tractor lumbered across a mud road. The berries hung small and red underneath their green leaves. A honey bee with pollen-swollen back legs worked between amid the white blossoms. (I am thankful that the Alabama department of Agriculture functions better than the rest of the state agencies assuring that we still have honeybees here!) The green berries emerged like little fairy hats from underneath the spent blossoms.
This is Alabama. I love the fruit and the vegetables that grow here. I love the pickup trucks and farmers. I love the weirdness of this state, the smell of foundry in the city, the beach, the mountain. I want to take Alabama and make it part of me. I internalize it and save it for later in case it succumbs to the Atlanta influence and become another faceless city-state like all the others surrounded in highway cloverleaves built to facilitate ego trips. There's something to this that makes me realize that loving Alabama despite its faults is something akin to loving myself. I'm learning that you can't run from what you are. It follows.