Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Down to the creek

A place that I consider very dear to my heart is no longer in the family. My aunt and uncle have moved away from their place in the country. They had no choice in the matter, so I am quite happy that they have found a wonderful new home.

But there is still a queer sensation in my stomach as I think about the lane Jenny, Rosie, and I walked down countless times, gravel crunching underneath as we laughed and talked about everything--boys, friends, school, books, everything silly and serious that concerns growing girls.

The cats and dogs would always keep us company, the cats pretending that they just happened to be heading our way, the dogs too stupid to care about pretense. They would leap and prance, snapping at the air, happy to be going somewhere. There was nearly always a hawk in the air, hunting in the fields bordering the lane.

We would cross the road at the end of the lane and forge our way through the sharp waist-high prairie grass to the creek--for the creek was nearly always our destination, a hidden place. You never knew where exactly its path was until you nearly fell in, for the creek was always changing its way through the grass, subtly, slowly with each passing year.

It seems we grew up there, though I know we hardly went there as often as memory misleads me to think. But we went often enough that it has become a backdrop for my childhood--the prairie grass and the wide open wind mixing with such sensations as the smell of woodsmoke and the harsh scrape of Grandpa's mustache when he kissed my cheek and the crisp page of a book in my hands as my parents and I all sit quietly together, reading.

All this serves to tell me what this queerness is: I am grieving.

No comments: