Friday, August 31, 2007

Absolute Write Blogchain #10

This is the first time I've participated in a blogchain. It's sort of like a chain letter, with much more creativity and no dire threats if you don't pass it on. So far, the posts have been about produce, and vacations, which made me think of Autumn in New England.

I currently reside in a little house on the prairie (apologies to Laura Ingalls Wilder), but I grew up in a little house in the big woods of Maine. My parents had 3 kids to feed, so they grew a good sized garden every summer. We snacked on cucumbers, tomatoes and green beans fresh off the vine. We created faerie worlds playing in the forest behind our house. As school vacation dwindled there was an excitement and snap you could smell in the air.

The mornings would start off cool and crisp, the scent of wood smoke and pine needles heavy in the breeze. The deer paths called to me to walk their secret maze. I'd throw on a light jacket, grab my journal and head out, not quite sure where I'd end up. The destination didn't really matter much, because the beauty surrounding me made the journey far more important.

The sun climbed higher in the sky. The light falling through the leaves made dancing dapples all around me. I pretended they were faeries beckoning me to their palace. I'd continue down the well worn path to my favorite spot. A natural slab of granite extended out into a brook. Just above it, the tree branches opened up to let the sun shine through.

It was so incredibly peaceful, this small spot in the woods. The water would chatter as it worked its way around the rock. Birdsong surrounded me and occasionally I would glimpse a deer meandering at the far end of the path. Sometimes I wrote in my journal, other times I stretched out on the rock, closed my eyes and soaked in the sun and the sounds.

Even though this was before every kid had a cellphone, my mom never worried about me. She knew I needed space and quiet and the world was a safer place than it is now. I would return from my walks and we'd talk about what I'd seen and heard.

I miss my home state terribly, especially at this time of year. The Midwest is beatiful in its own right, but it's still not "mine". Sure, I'll take walks through the apple orchard, and I'll experience the SNAP! of biting into a Cortland apple fresh off the tree. I'll watch my neighbor's huge Maple tree turn into a flame of color. But, I won't throw on a turtleneck and a flannel to help my dad haul wood into the house for the woodstove. The only woodsmoke I'm likely to scent on the wind will be from my neighbor's firepit.

Instead, I'll watch the combines harvest corn, and I'll watch the landscape change from lush green to warm golden hues. We'll begin to harvest the herbs from the garden and buy straw for winter bedding. My family will attend the town festival and conversations will cease to revolve around going "up to the cabin" and begin to focus on the upcoming holidays.

I'm always caught between feeling elated and incredibly sad at this time of year. For me, it's a time of reaping the harvest and preparing for the long months of rest to gather the strength to do it all over again in the spring.

The next blogger in the chain is The Death Wizard Chronicles. I'm sure he'll have something interesting to add to the chain.

My Midnight Muse

(The Blog Formerly Known as) Taosbound

Virtual Wordsmith

The Death Wizard Chronicles

Food History

Kappa No He

A piece in the puzzle

Sound Off Blog

Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!


Midnight Muse said...

What a lovely memory to have ! I think being writers, we're set apart from other adults in that we can still not only recall those memories so vividly, but we can still feel that way. We can still wander through the woods and imagine worlds of wonder and fantasy all around us.

We can still play!

As to this time of year - I love Fall. I love watching the nights come early. Seeing the headlights on cars as dusk settles in during my commute home every night. Watching the sky change from fluffy white clouds to the solid mass of gun-metal grey that matches perfectly with the hue of the bay. Seeing the navy ships almost vanish in the wash of grey everywhere - and knowing that night I can curl up on the couch with a (faux) fur blanket, some hot chocolate soy milk, and a good book (with a cat or two sitting on the pages) :)

Jim Melvin said...

Wow! What beautiful images. Makes me wish I could walk the same paths. I love the forest, especially when it's cool. Early morning or early evening are best.

Lynn said...

I tend to keep some distance on talking about home, usually, because it makes me cry to write about it. I guess I just felt like letting some of it out this morning.

If you've never been to New England, I recommend it - at any time of the year.

Gillian said...

I love the Little House analogies. To an Australian, it's very exotic.

sam said...

It's definitely hard, being torn between two places. This reminded me of when I was a kid, and there were hills and trees just behind my house. My best friend and I had imaginary worlds, too, but ours usually involved tommy guns, instead of fairies. ;)

Dan said...

This time of year always reminds me of football. Well, it helps that football is all over the television. But, really, I'm talking about high school football, concession stands, etc.

My dad ran the visitor's press box when I was growing up so every fall since I was seven until I was around fifteen we'd go to every home game and I'd sit up in the press box and watch the game then after it was over go out on the field and huddle with the players for the Lord's Prayer (yeah, it was Texas, we said a prayer after every game).

Virginia Lee said...

My mother has been wondering why I enjoy participating in blogchains and after reading her this entry, she now understands why.

This was a gorgeous bit of writing. The scenes you evoked were vivid and wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And FWIW, my mom's a big fan. :)

VirtualWordsmith said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I do appreciate them!

Cath said...

I sometimes wonder whether revisiting the place of our childhood dreams is a good idea. I did, many moons ago, and seeing them through an adult's eyes stole some of the magic.

Better, perhaps, to cling to them through beautiful memory.

Great post Mary - thanks for sharing some of the magic.