THIS WEEK'S WORDS provided by sunday whirlagig come from "Five Chinese Verses" by Wendy Xu: toe, gate, glint, while, gaze, text, dimming, cooling, taste, sweltering, without, forwardMy offering is:
Another summer on the farm
She hadn't been to the farm in a whole year.
She still remembered the feel of the place though.
She started looking forward to it last month, while she was finishing up grade 6 and tired of learning.
She came nearly every summer as she grew up, to visit her gran, to get out of the city and her mother's hair, to experience country life. Her mom drove along the lane approaching her summer home, the safety and happy place gran provided. She loved the way the sun sparkled through the leafy trees along the long drive to the door. It sparkled like fairy dust in her mind, like she was entering a magical place.
This year she would ride the horse by herself she decided. She would eat half the blackberries she picked, she would kiss that boy on the farm next door. She was 12 and old enough to do lots of things here. She gazed out at the fields seeing it all looked the very same as last year, grasses waving to her in welcome, sun glinting off the metal barn roof, cat resting in the shade of one wall.
It was hot here, no doubt about it, she remembered the feel of cotton shirts sticking to her sweaty back after helping gran in the garden. The sweltering heat of July.
She remembered the creek nearby was great for cooling off after playing in that sun. While the creek rushed over rocks, she carefully stepped from one rock to another trying not to slip into the cold water or step on a fish. Those million little fish playing in cool water.
She loved the freedom gran gave her. She felt like an equal, like she was an adult with so much freedom. Gran said to choose wisely, then trusted her to do so. So she did.
She thought about taking a book to that old tree with the arms. She loved being half hidden, swatting away flies, dreaming of boyfriends to come, reading adventures in a book and imagining herself living them. She swung her feet on each side of the branch, toes still damp from the creek, pink polish on the nails. She always loved pink. She remembers buying her first lipstick here at the 5 and dime, bonnie bell pink lip smackers. She looked great in that. She left it here because her mom felt she was too young for make-up but gran didn't mention it if she noticed.
She gazed out at the fields again, seeing the little gate to gran's driveway ahead! I'll bet gran is baking cookies for me, she thought, and could almost taste them. Those big fat ones with sugar on top. One last text to her best friend Whitney to say good bye for the summer. Gran preferred them to live old school here, no devices and secretly she agreed it was kind of nice to just be there.
Just her and gran. Equals. Oh she loved gran! Just two women playing cards on the porch at night, or singing along with gran's fiddle. Or going into town to a square dance. Yes, that's where she'd kiss that farm boy alright... behind the dance hall after they danced and had some punch.
She was happy to see everything looked the same, clothes on the line needed her to take them inside. She liked to know life would always be just the same here so she could relax, knowing what to do and what not to do. Life was so complicated at home right now.
She hoped her mom would just drive off quickly without a big show of telling her to be good. She wanted to start the good times, to put her shorts and t-shirts in her dresser with the cracked mirror, to put out her drawing stuff on the little desk in her room.
Her mom was going through a difficult stage and annoyed her right now.
Finally, we're here! She waved to gran from the open car window...