Those They Left Behind

"Those They Left Behind" by Jules Hogan
"They left behind the feeling of dirt between their fingers, be it the loamy soil of Northern Scotland or the bloody red clay of the Mississippi basin or the rich black mud in the Congo or the terra rossa in the Mediterranean. They left behind birch, hazel, aspen and juniper; loblollies, magnolias, cypress and tupelo; ebony, iroko, mahogany and limba; olive, laurel, carob and myrtle. They left the birds, the capercaillie and Great Skua, the dowitcher and dunlin, the goshawk and honey buzzard, the lemon and emerald and laughing doves.

They left behind the ancient knowledge that had been with our species since we first stood on two feet. Perhaps even longer. Perhaps since we struggled from the ocean, or since we devised the great principle of sexual reproduction, or since we developed RNA. When they left, they left behind the understanding that we are all part of the same system, as connected as bees in a hive or zooxanthellae in a coral.

Did this loss hurt them, as well? Did they feel that tug in their roots?"