Saturday, April 19, 2008

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed...

For the last two nights I have slept with my windows open. It is exquisite because just beyond the bedroom window our lilac bush is blooming and the scent wafts through lulling me to sleep and back in time.
I loved Spring on the farm: new calves, new chicks, green things popping up everywhere, and soon no shoes!!! I loved running barefoot in the grass, in spite of the ever present danger of stepping on a bee or landing in chicken poop.
Daddy always planted peas and potatoes insanely early and we usually were eating them from the garden about now. There is no sweeter meal than fresh peas and potatoes and cornbread hot from the oven with butter your mother churned from your own cows milk.
If I had to request a last meal, that would be it... with some sweet corn thrown it and a fresh from the vine tomato!
Spring also meant flowers blooming. I have always loved violets and dandelions. Plus the beauty of buttercups which most people call daffodils.
Our yard had surprises too: Sweet Williams popping up, tiny white stars shining in the lush green grass, young garter snakes slithering about, their scales gleaning in the sunshine, asparagus pushing up along the fence row, begging to picked and eaten.
Daddy would start to till the garden, borrowing a mule and plowing in his hat and tie. I would follow smelling the rich scent of the soil, looking for arrowheads. Often I would sneak my shoes off then to wiggle my toes in the mealy soil.
In the orchard the fruit trees were blooming, and then shedding blossoms in cascades of snowy white. In the woods the redbuds and dogwoods flowered, the maples, elms and oaks started to tinge the world with light green. Dryland fish popped up after rainstorms and we would pick them for mama to roll in cornmeal and fry.
The baby animals would be gentled and named, ready to be loved for a season. Mama would start spring cleaning, putting the feather beds and pillows out in the sun to air out. Soon she would be scrubbing and cleaning and all the windows would be opened and I would fall asleep on sheets that still held the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the day while the scent of lilacs drifted through the windows lulling me to sleep...


TimmyB said...

Thanks for quoting Walt Whitman! I love having literate friends.

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