Summer 1817 – Walking into the Heart of Sorrow

The air smelled of a garbage heap, left in the sun to rot. Of graveyard water that has brought the stench of rot up from below. Of a sickness that cannot be cured but will not quickly kill. Of the sorrow of a mother who has outlived her children. Of loneliness and impotent anger.

Father said, “Something very bad has happened here.” He inhaled deeply, his eyes closed as he attempted to catalog the odor. “The landscape’s soul is diseased.”