Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Wandering


We wander my parents' yard, finding patches of shade, then sun, the better to squeeze drops of perfection from our afternoon.  I lose sight of the girls several times, but it's expected.  The yard is full of perfect hiding places and shadowed clusters.  There are landscaped sections, yes, but most of it is lush grass with teenaged trees.  At least, that's the distinction awarded them by my girls.  They're not new babies, tiny and frail; they're not tall sentinels, old and thick: they're teenage trees.  Medium trees.  Perfect trees. 

I mosey with my dad, talking -- listening to him talk -- about how the yard used to be, when they first bought this house. 

"The weeds must have been over my shoulders.  It was just a field of brush, really, so I knocked it all down and had a huge burn pile.  There was poison ivy and poison oak stuck to the house -- crawling up under the roof, even -- so I ripped it all down and threw it into the pile.  Back then, I didn't know you weren't supposed to burn that stuff.  It gets into the air, into your lungs.  Anyway, I just ripped it out with my bare hands, threw it on the burn pile, and cleared the place out.  That was...what...thirty years ago?  Thirty years ago... "

I make my hand a hood over my brow, and stare across the rolling expanse.  My dad's yard is one of my most favorite places to be.  Bordered by a thin creek and a low hill, it's laid out beautifully.  My parents have planted gorgeous, towering trees and broad shrubs and hillsides full of rock-strewn, flowering bulbs. 

If I were a bird, I think, I would live in this yard. 

We make our way to the creek, stopping along the way for dad to rake up patches of embattled weeds.  He tells stories.  I smile.  I wonder where the kids are, but I know they're completely safe in this yard.  It held me when I was a little girl; it will hold them.

Later, when I break away from my reverie, I turn towards the porch. 

I find that the yard has, indeed, held the girls. 


Brown dust covers their arms and legs, and their tiny feet are dug into mom's freshly tilled garden.  Dirt flies as they scoop and pile, covering their feet under the earth. 


Lauren looks up at me and smiles, proud. 

"We're planting FEET, mama!" she yells. 


Well.  I can't find fault with their endeavor.  If I could, I would plant little girls enough to cover the whole yard. 

Dusty, dirty little girls, precious and held.  And in thirty years, when they've matured and grown into something lovely and sprawling and soft, I'll wander over grasses and under trees, remembering what came first. 





We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Hyacynth's place today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they find the fullness in the simple

14 comments:

  1. Oh, goodness. There's just something in the thought of them being held in this beautiful yard that holds so many memories for you... something that just gets me. I think it's that one can sense all the love and security you had as a child, and it's beautiful --magical!-- that they're experiencing that too, a generation later. What a gift, Sarah!

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    1. That's it exactly, Lenae! Simply by having kids, I'm constantly feeling re-immersed in my own childhood. It's amazing, and very educational. I never realized how wonderful it all was :)

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  2. Its like a Gone with the Wind moment. Except your Tara is your homeland and it will be just as important to them as it was to you.

    I adored this. I compared Dom to a cloud and me to a tree this week, too. We must be on the same wavelength. ;)

    Alita

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    1. I never thought of it like that, but you're so right! I do so love to be the swooning beauty ;) And I can't imagine -- after seeing them on this land -- having to raise them away from it. I love it so much!

      And I feel honored to share your wavelengths :)

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  3. What a neat gift that your parents live in the same house you grew up in, with a great yard with lots of memories <3

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    1. It is, isn't it? It always felt so boring growing up, that other kids had new houses every once in awhile. But not us. And now, I'm so grateful! We've watched the landscaping change and beautify over the years. But it's remained *home* no matter what.

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  4. Your posts have been so vivid lately, Sarah, so full of strong writing and great, thematic surprises...but that's way too technical-sounding for this post that almost made me cry. I love watching childhood unfold for your family. It's magic.

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    1. Gosh, Em -- thank you! I always love techincal compliments, especially when they come from such a writing genius as yourself ;)

      And you're right: it IS magic. Sometimes I forget to see it, though.

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  5. So tender. The warmth of generations. The earth and the love under, around and nourishing all who dwell here - very powerful.

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    1. Thanks, Adrienne! 'The warmth of generations' is it in a nutshell. Comforting and present.

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  6. Oh, Sarah. Goosebumps. I love your images and your message and the last line especially ... and just gorgeous writing.

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  7. "Planting feet"! What a lovely sentiment! And such a perfect place to plant one's feet, to spread roots, and grow. :)

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  8. Yes! Little girls -- rows and rows of them. You gave such beautiful light to this feeling -- I have it, too, whenever I take my kids home to my parents' property in the country, when we help them plant things or build things, we know (hope) they'll be there forever.

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  9. Beautiful post. I love how it moves from a literal description of the yard to a more metaphorical reflection on the growth of souls...you are fortunate to have this constant home with its rich history.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?