"And the truth is, we are a body just wiggling and jiggling in and out of the light."
"You mean, the earth is," she said.
"I mean earth and everything on it," Killburn said.
Deeply interested, Lurhetta nodded, saying, "But I don't think about it every day."
"Sure now, that's it, then," Killburn said. "If you could think about it every day, you never could own a piece of it. Wouldn't want to. And if you don't think about it every day, you get to believing you have a right to own it. You become a sore growing on the body." His eyes a vivid, mackerel shade: "A scab on the sore, getting bigger, hurting, causing pain." (12.91-95)
Killburn's philosophy about not owning land is a huge knock against the Higgins' pride at owning Sarah's Mountain. It's hard to disagree with him, too, at least given the way the story develops. After all, places like the lake or the view of the distant hills—all of that is free (more or less), no one owns them, and they provide for everyone. If someone were to own those things and restrict access to them, we're guessing the M.C.'s attitude toward ownership of the land might change a little.