Lucas dug up a ceramic electrical insulator, one of those brown screw in deals that were prevalent fifty or so years ago. He brought the thing to me and it freaked me out because he could have been seriously cut had he chewed on it but he didn’t so he wasn’t. I did take it away from him and half an hour later he showed up with another just like it. It took me a minute or two to find the first one and realize there was two and not just one. I have both of these employed as part of the electric fence and they’ll never wear out. After I’m gone maybe someone else’s dog will dig them up again.
So today Tanya the Destroyer shows up with an old blue bottle in her mouth. Lucaseque in her gift giving, Tanya brings me something that freaks me out because she might have been hurt if she chewed it but she didn’t so she wasn’t. I’ve searched for where the Blue Bottle might have originated from and there are three dig sites that Tanya has shown a lot of interest in. One of them is near where Loki found the insulators and I wonder what else might be lurking down there and why the dogs dig this place.
There was a pile of junk in one spot neat where I started a Firepit and I assume it was all pushed off the current parcel of land or somewhere near. There’s bricks and stuff that I’ve unearthed, but that tells me little; the European invaders arrived here over four hundred years ago and many, many people have come and gone since the first invasion. Many homes may have been built here, burned or decayed away, maybe even moved, but there is only what the dogs have given me to remind me that I am not the first here.
I’m thinking about getting one of those small concrete crypts and burying it out here, deep and unmarked, so that one day someone might find it and have some clue as to who lived out where and what has happened since I’ve arrived. I would include digital storage devices, certainly but also hard copies of photos and things I’ve written and maybe voice recordings.
“Hi! My name is Mike Firesmith and I died a long time ago. This is what you will find in this box and these are my reasons for leaving these items for you to find.”
I would bury it deep enough so that someone digging for worms couldn’t find it but someone looking to discover why their dog had been digging in the area might.
Let’s say I buried it two meters deep. I think if I put a layer of glass bottles from this era under a sheet of thin metal just 75 centimeters deep someone might find it while digging. In each of the bottles would be the message, “Keep digging” but that’s predicated on the knowledge of English. Well, I do have to start somewhere. About at the one point five meter mark there would be another layer of bottles with more of the same messages but with a map of how far to go as opposed to how far gone so far.
I wonder if I could get someone to keep a map of where the box is and then they pass it on to someone else and finally, one hundred year from now, it is opened again. Or maybe the map would be lost and the box might stay underground for two hundred or three hundred years. I would like that. I would like to think that someone who just got a ground penetrating radar device for their sixteen birthday would upload the data from their drone and discover I left them something a couple of meters down there.
Now that I have had that thought I realize where both Lucas and Tanya the Destroyer were digging was near an Oak tree that had been long dead when I arrived. The top part of the tree had already fallen but there was a stump, a monolith really, about three meters tall. I pulled it down after it started leaning and left it to decay back into the earth. I wonder if someone left somewhere near that tree, and it lies there now, waiting to be discovered by more than just mutts?
More than any other generation, we have the ways and means to preserve something of our lives and leave it hidden for others for a very long time. I never realized it until this very moment but there are companies who will do all the work for you in this. But I was looking for someone a little more personal. I want to take the risk of it never being found and if it is found, for it to be a personal experience. I want it to be something someone who lives here can sink their fingers into the earth to discover, if people still do that when I’m very long gone. Yes, that is the way I will go; I will build it myself and bury it myself and leave nothing but clues in the earth to guide the future Hermit to find it again.
Tanya is a digger in the same class of excavators as Bert was. I think I’m just going to kick back and see what this baby girl brings forth out of the ground. In the meantime I’m going to build a small concrete box and make sure that it’s buried near an Oak tree. I may even plant one in front of it, or behind it, and clear the area around the tree, not that there’s any guarantee the tree will survive. But life isn’t about guarantees, is it?
I just realized I compared Tanya with Bert and Lucas in the same day. I’ve been telling myself she has to go because she doesn’t get along with the Lilith or Tyger Linn as much as I would like. There’s no guarantee she ever will.