Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Time We Can Remember

As a child, I lived it. As a young adult, I wanted to leave it. As a middle aged mother, I went to visit it. As a older woman, I embrace it.

My past. My growing up years and those that seemed to fly by when I had a family of my own are all parts of me and my history. They are parts that I want my family to remember. They are important years. Not just because of the people and events of the past. They are important because they are a part of American history and rural Americana.

What is there in your history that echoes in mine? Who are the people who changed your life and who just might have been my neighbor? What were the things you experienced in those years of living? The things we remember might seem insignificant, but they are perhaps those things that helped define our lives. We are rural Americana. The old ringer washer. The old ice tray that on special occasions was filled with fruit juice. The days of summer barefoot on the farm. Riding on a tractor pulling a plow. Sitting in a grain wagon munching on fresh oats. Watching the corn crib fill with hard, yellow corn. Sitting on the sidelines as a baby lamb was born or when the sheep were shorn. A time when life was simpler though sometimes difficult. A time we can remember.

Perhaps many of you will only remember the hard work that came along with those times. For me, I remember a family working together. We shared laughter and sometimes song as we worked. We learned to be part of a team when we were young. We loved the time with adults when we were considered responsible for some small task. We learned what it was to be a neighbor by pitching in to help another family with their crops. We learned what it was to appreciate what we had even if it was a hand-me-down. A drink of cold water from a thermos in the field was wonderful....even if we did all drink from the same spout. Chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner (lunch) was better than prime rib in a fine restaurant. We knew what it was to rest from a long day in the field. We knew how to worship and be thankful for what we were given.

Not everyone cares to go back to the past. It has not always been easy for me. Yet I find healing and hope in what came before. In looking back, I understand more.

It is a time we can remember.

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