For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners,
as were all of our fathers:
our days on the earth are as a shadow,
and there is none abiding.
[1 Chronicles 29:15]
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling and several other long-loved books, wrote The Sojourner not long before her death in 1953. Although this book is not as well known as some of her other books, it is my favorite. I read it years ago and it struck such a cord with me that it stayed in my memory. Ever since I attended the Land Full of Stories writers’ conference presented by the Story Circle Network in San Marcos, Texas, this book has come to the forefront of my mind. It is such a strong example of writing about people relating with—or not relating with—place.
I recently bought my own copy in hardback and am rereading it. I do that with books I love. In my personal library, I have books that belonged to family members years ago—books I’ve read just because they were left to me. So I add my books to the collection. Maybe when I’m long gone, someone will browse the bookshelf and select one of my favorites. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I love this book. I see myself as a sojourner.