Boys: “We counted THREE drug deals in 15 minutes at the crack house across the street!”
Me: “Oh, really?! Papa and I saw two yesterday. I guess you guys win. Hey, you didn’t let anyone see you right?! Cause as much as you Bubs like to be all Sherlock Holmes-y…..you’re not ready for the FBI m’kay?”
Boys: “We were hiding in our fort and using binoculars. No one saw us!”
Me: “Alright. Just always be careful.”
Wearing curiosity like everyday camo, they run along to seek the next thrill and I go back to hulling my sink full of pick-your-own strawberries. The languid motion and soothing rightness of preparing earth-fruit propels my mind backward to my own growing up days on that 40 acre farm in northern Michigan and I’ll be dad-gummed if my childhood story isn’t a distant cry from the chapters our kids are writing with their lives right now. Dipping my hands below the water’s surface for another strawberry and this is one of those sometimes that I ache for them to know what I knew back then – that life was as pure as the driven snow blowing off the shores of Lake Michigan and tasted like an endlessly holy and wholesome pre-fall Eden feast.
When I was a little girl, coming into my skin and learning my own soul, I had fields and whole forests; what seemed like leagues of land to spin and skip and stretch and sprout on. My siblings and I rode the country wind like it was nature’s elixir and every lungful was for free and we took until we burned alive with it. We laid flat on our backs in the grass, spread out like X’s next to the chirping crickets and I’m almost certain we reached straight up and hand-plucked stars right out of the untouched, indigo sky. We sifted our fledgeling fingers through stalks of waist-high grain, raced our horses across rivers and through gravel pits, played nighttime tag in the cornstalk rows, built barns, milked goats, collected eggs, planted gardens, harvested hay from the pastures and honey from the bees we kept. All this and so much more and we couldn’t stop our bodies from falling into bed every night because we worked and played so hard. To say this kind of living was good, would be a cosmic understatement.