Watchers of the Hill

Jul 5, 2017

We sleep in the hillside, ever watchful, waiting for the day our children call our names.

We were giants, once. Movers of stone and monoliths of living legend. With our hands, we shaped rolling hills and smoothed the edges of leas. We routed river bank and shepherded forest to provide for the fragile children we so loved. They built their homes where we could care for them. We watched with pride as they tended farm and flock, and they often comforted from the hot summer sun in the coolness of our shadow. But soon the children forgot our names: they recognized neither friendly face nor breaking heart; and they grew fearful of our gentle grasp. The giants wept as they left, forgotten, into the mountains.

We were kings, once. We stood prideful as our warriors shaped our bounded kingdoms, and we ruled the gentle hillsides with iron strength and flinted fairness. The common people sang songs to our accomplishment as they farmed the richness of our hills. The rivers swam to our glory, and the forest game fell gladly to our hunters. Prideful we stood as stone walls embodied our will, and prideful we fell as stone walls encircled our hearts. Soon the people forgot our faces as ivy covered our tombs and timber crumbled our bounds. The kings wept as they sunk, forgotten, into the hillside.

We were a strong and sovereign people, once. We clothed ourselves in the lore of our ancestors and blanketed our children in the traditions of our green and rolling hills. We stood as tall as giants and lived as richly as kings. But warriors spilled over the mountains, barbarians who had forgotten the names of their tribe, and our gentle green bled a sick and sticky crimson. They were too many. Their swords were too thirsty. We were conquered, but our strength was not forgotten. As giant, king, and forefather, we sleep in the hillside. Generations pass over us as moss and soil cover stone. But we remain, and when the circle is complete and our children remember our faces, they will call our names. And we will rise.