Once the ox was going smoothly and Michael had a good strong hand on the plough, he thought about how things had changed in the decade since he had arrived in the district as a young man of thirty-five. Many of the German families that had settled Log Creek with him had given up and gone to more civilized parts of America, back to Charlestown or to other states with German settlers. English-speaking settlers had taken their places.
The familiar clang of metal hitting rock woke Michael from his reverie. He pulled on the reins to stop the placid beast and stooped to pick up the boulder. It reminded him of the back-breaking work of clearing the land, cutting down trees, pulling up stumps, and piling rocks. While the labour had made him ache all over and feel every one of his years, it had strengthened him as well. He was proud that enough of his hundred acres was cleared now to provide him with a decent living.
This is the opening two paragraphs of the first chapter of Part 2 of my novel The Missing Pieces of his Silence.
In October of last year, I went to Steven’s Creek Nature Preserve in South Carolina to see what the land might have looked like when my ancestor Michael Eisan arrived to clear it and farm. Here are some more images of that beautiful nature preserve.
And finally, we shared the path with what we think was an indigo snake.