Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The shoes we wore, wear the souls of our feet

I grew up in the foothills. Outside our kitchen window was an almost indescribable view. The mountain we lived on plunged to a little road at the bottom and then hills, everywhere, rolling upward for miles, beautifully bowing down to the big Sequoia trees that grow beneath the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. On a clear day we would stand on the deck out side, silently knowing that God created the heavens and the earth. He made this. It was beautiful.
At night, I could hear the owl that rested his wings on the telephone pole outside our house, crying out and rejoicing to the heavens from which he dove to catch his prey. There was a family of raccoons that lived near our house. We would spy out our bedroom window as they ate what we set out for them. The ground surrounding us was crammed with nature, it was alive.
Spring found my siblings and I roaming the hills, picking wildflowers and playing childish games. Summers were full of swimming and soaking in the sun.
I always thought we were like the Von Trapp family. Singing mother: full of spirit and kindness, passion and hope. She taught us piano and guitar and how to sing through any struggle. I will forever remember her singing songs of praise to her Saviour in the kitchen: cleaning and rejoicing, always singing and always loving, teaching us to love through the ugliness. Pushing us towards HIM, telling us that HE, Yahweh, is the only way. Father, like the Colonel he is, stern and quick to discipline, loved us. He wanted us to face our fears and get back on that horse. So, we did.
We had horses and a few chickens: hay bails to climb on, dirt to dig in, daisy's to chain, wheelbarrows to transform, corrals to build together, tarantulas crossing in November and a house without a T.V. to distract us from the beauty that surrounded us.
Growing up with 7 siblings, your never lonely. There is always someone to fight with and always someone to befriend over and over again. We weren't a perfect family but we loved one another.
Now, I am a city mouse. I've traded the mountains for monuments, dirt for cement, well water for tap and open space for limited space. I will always look back on my life in Squaw Valley and long for the summer evening air: clean and inviting, scenting the laundry hung on the back porch to dry.

barefoot in the summers
running through wild flowers and dirt
sitting on top of the opened earth
or a top a unearthed boulder
soundlessly looking at the sky
wide open mountain ranges
morning glories
dusk swinging porch swing
owl's crying out in the night
rejoicing to the heavens from which they dive
down, deep into the silent, dark meadow

No comments: