As promised, I went to the arid and dry.
Only, something had changed in the landscape of late.
Great plains, always salty, cracked and creeping on for miles sat below a liquid surface.
Here upon the plains a quiet; something stirred in ghostly waters.
Badger Bates, respected elder, told of slaughter on the flood plains; how the killing of native people echoed on and on for years.
It was then we heard the students who’d been present here before us often came to tears; unsettled in this place of darkened desert.
It was not until the elder smoked the students through a fire, and he spoke to spirits settled in this place of violent past. And what followed was a calm; a lifting light, a subtle sigh. The feeling of the landscape changed, no more they felt the morbid weight and felt no need to break the camp.
For my part, there I stood and felt with heart the toiling on the soil. My science told me “silly!” but my instinct knew much more. Who am I to judge from outside that the spirits were not haunting? There indeed existed much more than my sweeping visit told.