Meadows filled with childhood memories

I often think how nice it’d be if I had kept a journal as a child. Sadly I don’t remember much detail of my childhood anymore, and it never occurred to me then to keep a journal. My own kids have some journals they’ve started and stopped;  they’re not that into it. Someday they’ll have a good time looking back on what they did write, though, and probably laugh a lot.

It’s easy for me to think my childhood was nothing special as nothing much memorable happened. But in my older age, now I want to remember those slow, idyllic times, partly because I see so few kids these days have that. In the “old days” many moms stayed home, and kids didn’t have all those activities so we stayed home and played outside a lot – all day in the summer. I think what I loved most was the meadow, as fellow blogger-writer Kristin Nador recently reminded me with her photos.

We lived next door to a meadow – adjoining undeveloped lots whose owners let them grow wild. They were full of floating white caps of Queen Anne’s lace, short waving foxtails, and yellow buttercups. In the warm summer sun, both white and red clover released intoxicating perfumes that attracted slow, fuzzy bumblebees and preoccupied humming honeybees with pollen-packed legs. A collection of butterflies skipped from bloom to bloom. It was heaven to a little girl.

Neighborhood kids tread a path through this meadow, and I loved to follow it to get to my friend’s house a few streets over. The wildness came waist high and hid singing grasshoppers that I stalked. My dad made an insect cage of wood and mesh – way before they were popular – where I kept crickets and delicate pale green grasshoppers that made so much noise in the house my mother complained. I caught swallowtails and hairstreaks, question marks and red admirals in a long-handled butterfly net my mother made.

Where have all the meadows gone? There are houses there now. The cornfields around the old neighborhood have been replaced with other subdivisions. The area farm fields one-by-one become McMansion neighborhoods. Where did all these people come from? And will their kids ever play in meadows?

Take a look at Kristin Nador’s post, Write Anywhere #36: In a field, and jot down a few memories of your own.


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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3 Responses to Meadows filled with childhood memories

  1. I remember sitting in the meadow making clover flower necklaces and crowns with my best friend. Have you ever smelled the fragrance of a clover flower? I also got my very first bee sting in the meadow! Ouch! The Queen Anne’s Lace were as tall as I was at the time – scary and fun to walk through. Who remembers cutting those flowers and putting them in food colored water to see them change color? Caterpillars were fun to hunt for and the fireflies put on a nightly miniscule fireworks show over the meadow! The meadows don’t exist anymore, at least up here, township or village restrictions require empty lots to be mowed.

  2. Thanks so much for the shout-out, and I’m glad my photos spurred your lovely reflections.

    We had a meadow near a duplex we lived in when I was a child. It was overgrown and wild, and right in the middle was an abandoned school bus that became our ‘fort’. We had great times adventuring there until one day my mother discovered I was allergic to goldenrod. After playing in goldenrod the height of cornstalks all day, I woke up the next day with my eyes swollen shut. That ended my wonderful adventures in the ‘bus meadow’. 🙂

    • Ah, yes, the bad part of meadows: allergies and bee stings. I remember those clover chains and when you stepped on a bee with your bare foot, Kathy. Thank goodness I was never stung, and my bad allergies didn’t start until I was grown up. Kristin, I just loved your photos and the thought of writing in a meadow – after taking a Claritin.

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