The Schimmoeller family land is forever protected, following a signing ceremony with Woods & Waters Land Trust on November 26, 2013. Here is a poem that Mark’s sister, Trina Peiffer, read as part of the ceremony:
Run the gravel lane, old Tackett’s Mill Road,
a rough ridge road.
Run the hills.
Run it often for speed and for fun.
Run it because cars don’t drive back—
the cabin is farther in.
Run it in the dark.
Run fast flying
at everything you can’t see,
every footfall a risk
and a landing.
Run flying home in the dark
because you are in your twenties,
you are new here,
and the woods go beyond what you know.
It’s 125 acres.
There is an unchinked 18 by 22 foot cabin.
No electricity, no running water.
Imagine a father who would turn
to his adult children and ask,
“Can you do it?
Do you want to do this?”
“Yes!” you say,
you all say yes.
Yes to candlelight, cisterns, a well, woodstove,
wheelbarrow, a family journal.
Yes to a cool pond, garden fences,
Yes to tick checks, chiggers, heat, mud, and cold.
Yes because there have never been more trees
and because it has never been more fun,
real, ridiculous, or laborious
to be alive.
Alive and askew in a blackberry thicket.
Alive and outrun by a wild turkey.
Alive and alert to coyote,
Alive at a slant to modern times,
coming at it the back way,
up a gravel road, across more land,
marriage, more handmade houses,
up through your thirties, into your forties,
with children in arms, on foot,
then outracing you,
children coming up laughing, wailing,
running the gravel lane, old Tackett’s Mill Road,
making the trees flash by.
Imagine that this family is yours,
and you have passed through a piece of land,
birthing on it,
burying into it,
and finally seeing that it
has its own flight
across dark and light-checkered time,
a run of trees
pioneering a rock-crunching,
dead-fall, canopy-wide passage
beyond everything you know.