The wide open spaces have a sorrow about them. Randall doesn’t think they’ve always had it, though propaganda would have people believe the cities were always the source of happiness. Something about the wind blowing over the exposed dirt, the back of tracks, the lack of life, doesn’t feel natural.
He’s seen the holos of deserts, of sand dunes as large as oceans with waves all their own. There’s solitude there, but not sorrow. It’s a natural space.
Thought the Corps deny it, Randall knows the dry earth he’s looking at now was once a forest. Ancient trees, wide leaves, underbrush growing in their shelter. It feels like the earth here remembers what it’s lost, is in mourning for the missing green.
He puts his hand on the ground, but he can’t feel life there — it isn’t his side of things. He feels the movement, the steady march toward whatever comes next, but it won’t be a forest again.
Not on its own.
The disruption has happened. The order of things is now lifeless sorrow. Order isn’t his side of things either.
Randall gives the ground his blessing, and creates a new disruption. It probably won’t be a forest that results — that’d be too predictable — but there will be something.
He tries to convince himself he’ll be able to come back and see what it is, but his life doesn’t lend itself to plans.
Randall slings his pack over his shoulder, and continues his walk. He leaves the spaces behind him, the sorrow turning to excitement, possibilities growing.