Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Recapturing the Magic of Childhood



The older I get, the more I look back and appreciate the wonders of being a child. It's not the experience of being a little girl that I long for, but the intangible moments in time that made up those precious years. It seemed like there were endless blue skies over the back acres where I grew up. We did not live on a farm (my father did engine repair and my mother had a seasonal pie business) but our small rental was on the edge of a lovely field, forest, and meadow. And if you walked back through the woods far enough, you came to an abandoned orchard where many forgotten and horribly imperfect apples were picked and found their ways into our pies. It was the perfect backdrop for a childhood. The sunny days of running barefoot, braids undone and breathing heavily with the excitement of finding kittens. The forest teaming with children as we built tree forts and found our way to unexplored knolls. I can still smell the cherry blossom tree on the edge of the meadow, and the wild honeysuckle that bordered the woods. You never went home for a snack (you weren't hungry and you didn't care) and only grudgingly made your way home for supper. Do children still live this way? I honestly wonder. Everything seemed hopeful, possible, and free. So when I think of how zeit lang I get for those carefree days, there is a part of me that wants to recreate that time and place. Of course, that is impossible since the time has gone and those lovely fields and forests by my childhood home are now an industrial park. And when I last visited that small home we had, I could hardly believe it was the same place. The porch had seemed so much bigger to my little girl eyes, indeed, the whole building had seemed much larger. Funny how our perception of scale is altered so greatly by adulthood.

Jesus said that unless we become as children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Many of us are able to see a precious glimpse of a child-like world through the eyes of our own children, or the children in our lives. But there is something to be said for humbling ourselves and seeing the small pleasures on our own that we were able to view so effortlessly as children. This is something I seek more and more as I grow weary with the demands of my own life. Small moments of child-like pleasure do so much to boost my spirit. It could be something as simple as making a discovery of wildflowers in the corner of our property, or spending time sharing precious memories with a loved one. Even the words of a song repeating through my head as I go about a simple task can help me shake off the worries of the day if only for a few minutes. One day as I was sweeping our front steps I looked across the road to the corn field and an urge came over me that I should run into it and find some of my cousins playing hide and seek. Just like we did as children, and it was sweet reminder of days gone by and made me feel blessed to have that memory. Memories are temporal things too, that can leave over time. Of course, I didn't run into the field. My cousins are all grown now and living afar, and they would probably be concerned if word got out that I was found wandering around a cornfield. But I liked having that unrestrained thought, that feeling for a moment of what could be, if not for me than perhaps for some other little girl with a lovely childhood of her own. 

If you can recall anything of your younger years that brings a smile to your face, I'd love to compare notes. 

On the Table: The pie in the picture. Oh, and I don't know what will happen when we can no longer grill outdoors. It has made a summer of easy meals!

In the Kitchen: The last pints of salsa are sealed and apples are on order.

Around the Home: Hoping our living room floor will be rebuilt quickly. It is currently a large dirt pit, right down to the foundation. Unsightly and inconvenient!

In the Garden: Pole beans are being picked little by little.

6 comments:

  1. This post has been removed by the author.

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  2. I love reading your blog. I am not very good at putting my thoughts down in words and to see how well you write, it's like I am right there with you. I also loved playing outside as a child. I still live on a farm with my husband and 2 daughters. So I get to enjoy watching and listening to my girls play and enjoy childhood. I don't know if it is just me or if times have changed, but I am not comfortable letting them play out by theirselves. Because of animals (coyotes, bears etc.) not so much strangers. I guess it will get easier as they get older.
    Thank you for sharing your life with others.
    Michelle

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  3. Thank you for that memory.

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  4. Wow, you have such a way with words. I remember having such free feelings like that ~ I loved getting a hairwash in the middle of the day sometimes and my mom would tell me to go outside and let it dry in the sunshine. I still feel like I can feel the warmth on my head. Our house backed up to a park with swings and monkey bars and two big hills for sledding when it was snowy. I think that's why I get so antsy here in my subdivision where I'm surrounded by houses. Ugh. That was a GREAT post, girl!! Thanks for the memories ~ ♥

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  5. I felt lost in your writing....taken back to a much simpler time for me too. I am going to guess from your header that there is some menno in that background? Grin....moi aussie!

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  6. Such a beautiful posting, and if there's ever been a prettier pie, I'll eat my hat.

    My favorite thing to do on a lazy summer's day was to take a quilt, a book, a sugar-laden thermal glass of iced tea, and a pillow, and go lie out in the yard under the trees and read all afternoon.

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