When I was a child, I could walk through the chicken yard to an old dilapidated gate. Once I opened the gate, it was a straight downward slope to the ground below. Then I would find myself on this lonely dirt road.
For some reason, I don’t really recall much of the road in one direction, to my left. I see it briefly and then it fades away. I more vividly remember the road that hitched to the right.
Down a ways, it intersected with another road where fields of tall grass loomed as far as the eye could see. I could then take that road to my great-aunt Bertha’s house.
It was an idyllic setting really. Shaded and quiet. A lonely dirt road edged by weeds and rarely frequented.
then, I felt lucky to have that stretch of road to myself. To poke at the brush with sticks and
gather rocks for my pockets.
At my great-aunt’s house, what I most remember is her garden out back. It seemed to stretch to infinity with row upon row of tall cornstalks that blocked whatever lay beyond.
We all had big gardens out in the country. Fresh vegetables and fruit fed us through summers, and then were canned to feed us through winter as well.
This particular memory only came back to me a few months ago out of the blue. I don’t know what summoned it up.
I found that if I laid awake at night and emptied my mind of the detritus of my day, bits and pieces of that time would slowly flow back to me.
A little girl with dark curly hair not easily tamed, meandering along a stretch of road surrounded by cow fields. Gathering rocks along the way.
I can see that place easily now, a memory captured and held in place. Framed by low hanging trees on either side of vast fields, with a red dirt road running down the middle.