Thursday, April 11, 2013

That Favorite Place

A favorite place. The place that as a child, you went to cry or just to think. A place that gave you peace of mind and security. A place that drew you to it without thought or purpose. We all have those places. Places I went depending on my crisis or my mood at the time. As a child, I stayed in the upstairs playroom. It was there that I missed my sisters. It was there I missed my guy who was in the service. The room held all of my secrets and dreams. A place that held all of my memories in the house back the lane on Neff Road.

For most of us who grew up country, the barn was another place where we went to find distance from whatever else was happening on the farm. I sat on the old swing that hung from the pulley track overhead. Even as a mom, I found solace when I visited surrounded by bales of straw and hay and the familiar smells I'd known all my life.

When we sold the farm, I went to the one place that was ever in the thoughts of the girl from Neff Road. It was early morning and the world around me asleep. Mom and Dad were gone. And, now the last of our parents was leaving the family. I sat crying, sitting there on the cement abutment. I listened to the birds and trickling of the creek. All of the places that were part of my life nest would be gone.  Whenever the Loxley girls came home to the farm with their children, they walked daily to the bridge. I'm not sure why. I think perhaps it was a place where we could look at the farm we all loved. The creek was a companion of our growing up years.

As an adult, the farm became my place of peace. When life seemed to crumble around me, I went to the farm. It was indeed my mother as we had lived in the womb until the womb was no more. When my sisters and I returned to settle the farm for sale, we had a system. No outside family members were allowed to be with us for the week we were there. We drew numbers the first day. I was #1, etc. We went from room to room. In the first room, I had first choice of what was in the room, then #2, then #3. In the next room #2 started. We went through the room in the same rotation until we had split all that we cared to keep. The process eliminated struggling over items. The process brought us closer as we laughed, cried and made memories with each drawer, each box we opened. We found treasures we shared together. We found a way to take the farm with us in memory, memory of sharing those last days in the house of our roots.

More and more as I age, I realize the beauty of my childhood. A child of the land. A farm child. Sometimes this column touches me deeply as I write. Today is one such day. Yes, we all have that favorite place. Mine is still on Neff Road.

No comments: