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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Sensory Summers

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.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lyn - Beautifully written! Wonderfully portrayed memories of a bucolic childhood. - Sandy

When I see your name on the Story Telling Place notice I know I am in for a treat. You never fail to please.

What a beautiful picture you painted of a farm child's lazy summer. I could almost smell the newmown grass.

Thank you both. It WAS bucolic, and I am more and more grateful the older I get. I am holding back some essays until I get a better scanner--with a photographer for a father, we have my childhood well recorded on film!

Lyn, as usual you've given us a beautifully told memory. You do, indeed, paint a picture with words.


What a treat to read your memories today. I love to read about other people's lives because most of them are so different from my own memories of childhood in the city..

Wonderful images.Beautifully written.

Thank you, later posters. You inspired me to write up a long-ago rural adventure that I've often spoken of, but never immortalized on paper--My Life as a Shepherdess. Watch for it here--as soon as I get the photograph ready!

Wonderful descriptions!

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