Monday, April 6, 2015

A Letter to the Farm

The sky is always a sorbet and taffy-colored concoction over your thriving or barren fields. Why do I always taste candy melting on my tongue, breathless before you, in the back yard of the aging buildings?

I walk the long, rock-littered lane and suck in the fresh air as if my life were dependent upon it; I suppose there are fine moments between the arriving and departing that it does. That back barn - an empty cavern of high squeals and lost memories of children clad in Carhartt trying to figure out how to live like daddy - be like daddy. I look in between the rust bars and swear I can hear the laughter of the little girl still somewhere within me; she never knew how the return to all of this would both fuel the fire within her and develop an ache that was never to be localized and abandoned.

You gave me my first friends. We would arrive in a copper colored truck and wait for instruction, wait on a pointed finger . . . sometimes I think I'm still waiting. I look at the hills and the structures sitting upon them - I can still hear his raspy voice and the pull of the little brother - and the girl I so often looked up to. They were the world I knew - it rotated and spun around the ticking by of those days - I'd trade a heartstring to return to them - those days and those babies who thought the whole world would unfold and forever really would be eternal.

I watch these next pieces of the generation, scream-counting and gut-laughing, "READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!!!" and my heart - it threatens to implode on itself. I want the magic of this place in a bottle. I want the truth, deep down into the roots of your soil, to never be out of reach. Laugh, babies, I whisper, feather quiet, laugh and soak it in, and remember. Dear God, please help them remember the ties that bind.

The corn field has been left empty; cleaned out from the last harvest, but it will all flourish soon. And I suppose that's what this place is - emptied for seasons and then poured back into - with the laughter and the bickering -- it remembers who I was long before I knew it would be imperative to know where it was I came from.

We are grown now - living lives near and far from this farmhouse nestled in the land. And yet we return - to feed a hunger, to fulfill a duty, to celebrate and mourn; we return. You leave me longing for more; more of the yesterday, more time in the shared moments of today, more time with those who never got enough of the time . . .

You know where I came from - the red barns and the wide open space; You kiss my cheek with your sun scorched, orange skies. Giggles race against time as they run up to the house, screen door slapping back in to place.

Ready or not, here time comes . . .



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