There’s an old farmhouse down a winding road. I can see it plainly—white with green gables, just like in the story of Anne. Past the house runs a dirt driveway that splits at the elm tree and goes all the way back to the tin-covered barn.
To the right of the house is an orchard of old, twisted apple trees that are perfect for climbing. There are lilacs and blossoms, fragrant in spring. Surrounding the house is a big yard—cherishing, protecting—where childhood unfolds, safe in its embrace. Beyond the yard are vast, green fields that reach to forever, and thick forests of mystery entice us to wander.
We’re two little girls in pigtails and ponytails, bare feet and denim, with lace on our sleeves. Through endless days of soft summer breezes, we explore our paradise together. Stepping through hayfields and sweet-smelling clover, gathering bouquets of daisies ... Riding through woodlands of sundrops and shadows: galloping, spirited, innocent, hopeful, free as the wind.
Far back in the field, hidden from view, is a grove of maples … haunting; intriguing. Just like an enchanted garden, it’s guarded by a thicket and brimming with wildflowers; and its cool depths call us to come and explore. Two little adventurers, without hesitation, go into the heart of a wonderland. We find heroes and villains and fairy tale castles in this secret hideaway, our Promised Land.
Little girls in swimsuits and flip-flops, we skip along the road with our faithful dog at our side. Over a gate and through a pasture, we hurry down into a ravine where a rambling brook of frigid water ripples and sparkles in the light. Splashing, swimming; lots of laughter. Then shivering, dripping, we warm up in the sun. Dragonflies; butterflies; skippers; minnows ... Peaceful satisfaction. They’re long afternoons of simple pleasures and daydreams by pools in the Garden of Eden.
Afternoon sunshine, and we’re off catching frogs at the pond down Gillespie Lane. With rolled up pantlegs, we wade out into murky water. Little splashes signal the scurry of creatures. Mud squishes between our toes. We've got smudges and creases; dirty faces and tangled hair ... what does it matter? We're lost in a world without time. Then come the kisses of raindrops, and dark clouds threaten. With the rumble of thunder, we’re hurrying home. Flashes of lightning on blackening skies, and we dance in the downpour, carefree in the storm.
There’s an old farmhouse down a winding road. I can hear it plainly, calling me back to sunny days and dusty lanes, to gardens of make believe and little girl dreams. Ice castles; bicycles; fairy dust trails; sneakers and hairbands; daisy tiaras … Come back with me, Sister, to those hayfields at sunset; to the pond and the forests and the songs on the wind.
Copyright © 2022 Sandra Grace