Ed and my father still hadn’t pulled all the bolts off of leaf spring on the truck. They sat on the ground puzzling out how to get the thing out. I figured I had some time to waste. I put on the orange sweatshirt my mother had pulled from the closet, and made my way out the back door letting go of it and letting it shut with a snap.
Its a small lot, not even a dozen acres. Yet it gives me room to wander and breath. As I walked down the slopping hill the trees rose over me. And suddenly I am surround by the place, by the smells and the noises. As I sit there my back against a tree eyes closed just listening. The silence enveloping me, calming me. In that moment feeling complete.
As I walk up the hill, I face the tiny stream that runs under the mossy rock and then curves before it starts its deliberate journey down the hill. It isn’t large by any means, just a small stream making its way through the forest. Its the place I grew up. I remember scrambling over rocks and dipping my hands into the cool water. It was a magical pool to me as a child. As an adult it still hold a certain wonder for me.
I wasn’t the kind of girl that grew up with princesses and dolls. I grew up running through the woods. I would build forts where small trees came together, creating tiny sanctuaries. Every night I would come home tired with dirty clothes and ripped jeans.
I miss those days where I would stay out till the sun began to set. My childhood was shaped by nature. Even to this day I cannot help going into the woods and looking around with a childlike wonder. Its very hard for me to sit still for long periods of time.
As I said I grew up surrounded by nature, yet as I stumbled into my teens, I began to lose that wonder. That awkward periods when peer pressure began to rule my life. Suddenly the approval of others seemed more than anything. I abandoned the stream and the paths in the woods. I traded them for shopping malls and time in the city. For a time I began to believe that my future lay down that path.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I’m not sure quite when it happened, but the glamor of the city lights dimmed. I began to see the grime that lay between the big city lights. I came to realization that I didn’t need to go looking for a better place, that it had been in front of me the whole time. In that house I grew up nestled into the woods. These days I cannot wait to get out of the suburbs and back to Greenfield. I was a person that needed nature to feel complete.
I want to travel, to see the world. Yet it is no longer the cities I want to see. I want to walk through Yosemite, and stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon. I want to climb mountains and stand on the edge of a bay listening to the tide come in. I do not want to waste my time trying to accumulate pointless materialistic things. Instead I want to fill my life with places and experience, memories I want to write stories of these trips and leave them as a legacy.