Thursday, 26 August 2010
By Lyn Burnstine of The Lynamber Times
My friend writes to me that summers were longer when he was a kid. I remember the long, hot days of Illinois summers with all my senses: riding my bike lazily past miles of cornfields on deserted dirt roads; wandering the meadows, barefoot, searching for wildflowers to weave into garlands - clover and daisies to braid into crowns, and dandelion stems to circle into chains; and wading in the squishy mud after the quick, heat-breaking cloudbursts.
I remember gathering armfuls of lush pink and blue blossoms from Blue Bell Island with my gentle nature-loving parents; swinging on Tarzan grapevines in the deep cool woods; finding musky wild honey in a fallen tree; and playing in an old abandoned pig-sty in those woods.
I remember squealing at the crawdads crawling over my toes in the welcoming crystal-cool “crick”; climbing into the hayloft to jump on the heaps of sweet-smelling prickly hay; creeping quietly in the dusk to spot the elusive whippoorwill hunkered down on its ground nest.
I remember stuffing my mouth with juicy, sun-drenched dewberries, raspberries, blackberries and wild cherries; gathering baskets of buttery hickory nuts, hazelnuts and black walnuts; eating two big bowls of soft, homemade peach ice cream - Sunday’s treat - made rich with our own real cream; lying in the pasture with my cheek pressed against the broad sweet-grass-scented side of the giver of that thick cream.
I remember playing with and feeding all the other tamed farm animals - cats, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits - and the sometimes-found turtles and baby mice; curling up under a big shade tree to read all through the long, hot afternoon with the redolence of newmown grass and the summer music of birds and cicadas for company.
I remember singing hymns lustily in Golden Church, the little rural church that forever shaped my musical and spiritual life; and I remember climbing to the top of my favorite low-branched persimmon tree, where I played my ocarina and surveyed the blessed world of my childhood - one of complete connection to nature through all my senses.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]