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We were sweat-stained, exhausted, hearts hanging on our sleeves. A thousand of us under one tent. We’d gathered like some wild revival, women coming up over the hills, with sleeping bags and folding chairs slung over our backs to spend the night in a grassy field. The promise was as simple as being together, getting away, looking up. All ages under that tent, all variation. A mile behind us, a parking lot filled with SUVs, minivans, motorcycles. Miles behind that, a thousand homes we left behind, some happy and whole, some shattered and disappearing.

I was standing on a stage and had no idea what was coming out of my mouth — not by that point. It took 35 years to find a voice for this stuff, and once the story was out it felt like honey. I hadn’t expected it to feel like honey. …


Liz Bell Young

Author of “In the Wide Country of Love.” Contributing writer for Magnolia Journal & Artifact Uprising. Previous publisher of Haven. Mother of three.

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