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.