Sometimes there’s a hum that hovers across and over this patch of land, like cicadas in August or the wheeze of a strange, busted harmonica a little boy might find chucked in with his toys, a mystery song waiting to happen, caught in holes between tin. But tonight the stillness separates and parses the air, like mist rising over a pond early in the morning. Just beyond the cow pasture the old log cabin has on its new face, its two chimneys stouter now and its windows immaculate and maybe even a little impenetrable. I miss its crumbling edges, the triangle of air at the bottom of the front left-hand window. And I am not sure I want the old stone wall around the little cemetery to be restored. I like the mossy moats that separate its stones. There is even talk of cutting down the cedar tree by the cemetery entrance. Its lopsided coniferous grace is a benediction to me, though, a familiar sentinel over the years, when I’ve come to pay my respects to Laura Sorrells Smith, born 1878, died 1905. Last time I was here I stacked a small cairn of stones from the pinewoods by her marker. History is palpable here, a prayer for continuity and awareness, a blessing into kin. The broken places show it best. Their shabby beauty needs the gentle tending that honors their splits and rifts, that lets their fractured beauty be seen by those who need their stories and their lonesome strength. I’ll miss them if they’re fixed. For now I don’t mind moving tousles of pinestraw away from the shapes of angels and the curves of my family name.