I remember running down dirt roads such as this, barefoot and covered in mud.
This is what I wanted for my own children...I know it is nostalgic and sentimental, but I wanted them to grow up with a connection to the earth, a sense of permanence, and an expectation of goodness in the world. I am quite sure that many people in the south, and elsewhere for that matter, stay put to grow up, go to school, get married, and raise a family, because they want their own children to know what they knew, see what they saw, and love what they loved. It is an understandable phenomena. We can all relate to what is known, expected. It is when we throw the unknown into the mix that we become untethered and insecure.
And so my children will not know exactly what I know, and likewise I will not fully know their experience of the world and childhood. They will not grow up with the verdant hillsides, redolent mud, and singing crickets. They will have to find beauty and awe in a world that is mostly unknown to me, halfway around the world, and full of strange sounds, smells, and sights that must hold a beauty and knowledge of its own.