SECRET, SACRED PLACES
I looked at a PBS program tonight entitled ” A Farm Story” and it brought back memories from the first 20 years of my life. I grew up on a beautiful big farm outside Kansas City, Mo. It was a time when the fields and gardens did not have poison to kill the bugs. We raised all our own food and had fresh (organic) vegetables from the garden, fruits from peach, pear, apple, and cheery trees, fresh eggs, chickens and other animals.
We had them all. There were constant “chores” and work to do for everyone. On Saturdays I changed all the sheets on the beds while listening to my favorite radio show “Let’s Pretend”.
I especially loved waking up in the early morning to hear sounding of the first bird , smelling the gentle summer breezes with the smell of fresh cut bluegrass from the fields.
When I could sneak away from endless chores, I read or designed clothes for my dolls, pinning the fabric together with safety pins.I developed a passion for fairy tales, and I always felt sad to part with the characters in the books. My mother would return from the library with a stack of books and I proceeded to read at least three at a time.
When I wasn’t reading, I was exploring all the hidden places I could find (tall old pine trees, bushes, tall weeds at the creek) around the farm. One particular place was a favorite: the Lilac bushes. There were three colors, all together in one clump. One white, and two different shades of purple. From this place I could spy on the world and hear conversations . One day my father was talking to the “farm hands”, as they were called. Men he hired to plough the fields and help with the management of the animals. They kept saying a word I didn’t know. “Hell”. I ran to the house and looked up “hell” in a dictionary. Deciding it was not a nice word, I wrote it on a paper then went back outside, dug a hole in the ground, and burried it.
I remember well, hearing the “eeer” bugs (Cicadas) singing their way of their outer shells as they climbed up the trees in the long shadows of the setting sun. A perfect closing curtain of the day.