Saturday, April 5, 2014


There's a mile long dirt road that runs behind our house. Along the dirt road are two horse farms and a few corn fields, along with a creek and a few streams that run to that creek. It's country; it's peace; just as I find the ocean good for the soul so is the country. I've always loved nature; I found it to be a refuge from an early age.

From the time I was three until eleven we lived on a deadend street surrounded by hay fields. I don't know what age my parents would send us outside and we were free to disappear into those hay fields, the gravel road that ran perpedicular to the end of our steet, and the small wooded area that was also out in that emptiness behind ours and the neighbor's houses, but how I loved to escape out there. This was also the time my family was going through our most devastational family tradegy with my uncle's battle with cancer. When I wasn't disppaearing back there with the neighbor boy, who also became my first crush (no worries we were young so there was no crazy stuff going on out in those fields), I would go out there alone with my notebooks and it's where I first started to write. He had some weird screwed up childhood life that didn't make a lot of sense to my innocent ten year old self, who up until our current family tradegy thought life was perfect everywhere for everyone. As I explain in Why I Write, my way of processing the difficult parts of life was to write. Out there in those hay fields is where I fell in love for the first time with more than just a neighbor boy. I fell in love with nature and with writing. Those two things I see now stayed with me. Unfortunately the things that brought me to them did not. Monday marks twenty years ago since my uncle lost his battle with cancer and that boy died years later in car accident.

But as I took my girls down that old dirt road today, I couldn't help smile at the childish joy on their faces as they ran free, splashed in the stream, hung on the fences and stared at horses, dreaming of the days we'd let them race across an open field in the open freedom that is nature. They love it and I hope it brings them the peace that I've always found out under the blazing sun and the endless sky with the whisper of the leaves in the wind and the quiet harmony that is nature. I wanted to take my camera along on what ended up being our hour and half long hike down the dirt road today to try to catch the joy I've enjoyed seeing on their faces the last couple of times we've gone.  I'm not the photography guru like Nate but I still couldn't help but to love some of these. Enjoy.

                                                        The freedom of just running

                                                  We'll walk this road together, Mom.

                                                        They love seeing the horses.

                                                                 I love these girls.
                                             The fun of just splashing in the water and mud.

                                              Mom, she might think this is cool but not me.

                                                                 These faces say it all.
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1 comment:

  1. I too loved going out on my own when I was young. I'd go down to the lake and sit in the grass with a book or just with my thoughts and it was the best time ever. I'm glad that you are passing this on to your daughters. All kids should be given this gift.