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this farm. this field. this place

I sat down in a field to write.

It had been recently mowed, the bales already removed. The stubble was coarse and golden with a few seeds scattered here and there. Eventually, birds will eat them or they'll become part of the next crop.

The air was warm on my face, and I could hear crickets singing. It was bucolic and pastoral.

In the distance stood the old red barn. It used to house cows and pigs, and a store of hay for the winter. Now, a few jumbled things are left inside, and the only creatures are spiders, field mice and swallows.

A moss covered bird feeder swings in the gnarled apple tree. The small orchard is old, yet after all the years, it still yields fruit for the picking.

This place. This farm. This field holds many memories for me. My Granny's fried potatoes and squash, Papa's big old watermelons, cows gently grazing and chickens pecking around before becoming dinner.

Cast iron bath tubs were used as watering troughs. We kids used them as a spot to cool off, green moss, cow drool and all. You just don't mind that sort of thing when you're a kid.

We'd roam down the canal, picking wild blackberries and swimming down past the weir. The bottom of the canal was mud that would squeeze between our toes.

Sometimes it was a picnic spot with jelly sandwiches and kool-aid while the grown-ups tossed a line in the water hoping for some Crappie or Bluegill. And, in the hot summer sun you could hear the Killdeer and Meadowlarks and smell the pungent aroma of Tarweed.

I don't get to visit the farm as often as I'd like. 

Growing up, moving away changes things. It changes the angle of sights and sounds. But, even though my eyes now have crinkles at the corners, I can still look through the rosy glasses of the young wispy-haired girl wandering with bare feet to view the memories.

This farm. This field. This place -

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