| Quote #7
That night I tried to write the mini journal for Mr. Birkway. First I made a list of all the things I liked, and they were all things from Bybanks – the trees, the cows, the chickens, the pigs, the fields, the swimming hole. It was a complete jumble of things, and when I tried to write about any one of those things, I ended up writing about my mother, because everything was connected to her. At least, I wrote about the blackberry kiss. (20.1)
Sal's love of nature is deeply connected to the love she has for her mother. When her mother leaves, she turns to nature for comfort and for sense of purpose At the same time, it also reminds her of the painful fact that she has lost her mom for good.
| Quote #8
I thought about a baby rabbit that our dog, Moody Blue, caught and carried around—she was not actually lunching on the rabbit, just playing. I finally coaxed Moody Blue to drop it, and when I picked up the rabbit, its heart was beating faster than anything. Faster and faster it went, and then all of a sudden its heart stopped. (22.21)
We could argue that Sal's greatest fear is death, so this moment, when she has one of her first encounters with death, is particularly interesting. Yes, it's a wild bunny rabbit that dies and not a human being, but Sal seems truly affected. She learns that death is a part of nature and a part of life. Moody Blue didn't mean to kill the bunny, but the bunny died anyway.
| Quote #9
I told Gram and Gramps a story that my mother had told me about the high sky, which looked higher here than anywhere else I had been. Long ago, the sky was so low that you might bump your head on it if you were not careful, and so low that people sometimes disappeared right up into it. People got a little fed up with this, so they made long poles, and one day they all raised their poles and pushed. They pushed the sky as high as they could. (23.12)
Sal's mom tells her lots of stories, and most of these stories have to do with nature and explaining why nature is the way it is.