In a super-sanitized theatre earlier this year, we viewed the movie LAND, the story of a lone women who seeks solace in nature to heal unbearable wounds

 

 

BLURB  (no spoilers!)

From acclaimed actress Robin Wright comes her directorial debut LAND, the poignant story of one woman’s search for meaning in the vast and harsh American wilderness. Edee, in the aftermath of an unfathomable event, finds herself unable to stay connected to the world she once knew and in the face of that uncertainty, retreats to the magnificent, but unforgiving, wilds of the Rockies. After a local hunter brings her back from the brink of death, she must find a way to live again.

 

 


The land grounds us, provides stability under our feet,

nourishes our souls and feeds our bodies.

 

The 9.1 acres in Bainbridge, owned first by the the Horsts and then passed into my family through Grandma Fannie Longenecker, whose mother was Mary Horst. When my Mennonite father Ray Longenecker died, my mother continued to contract with farmers to till the soil, usually with corn, and then receive a portion of the proceeds. (Photos below courtesy of my sister Jean Fairfield.)

 

In 2015, when my mother’s estate was settled, the acreage was sold to the village of Bainbridge, the sale administered by Steve Mohr (the shadow in the photo below). Although original plans included building a community center, the land in the last year or two has been farmed, with the village collecting the proceeds. At this time, farmer Lester Zimmerman is planting and harvesting a field with tomatoes. We have come full circle! At least for now.

 

Note from Steve: “The Longenecker field is looking good. 9 acres of tomatoes as promised. Note the stones in the one picture.  All round river stones. At one time the Susquehanna River covered what is now the village of Bainbridge.”

 

* * *

If you have read Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl, the photos will make Chapter 17, “Tomato Girl Gets a Bike” come to life.

 

Helping Daddy cultivate the field in Bainbridge, 1950s

 

 


What does land mean to you?

Is there a special property in your heritage?

Any books or movies with the theme of “land” you can recommend?

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