A look back ...

Summer Vacation

The interval pasture June 30, 2024

It was a lazy afternoon…  

The cicadas were thrumming in the background, as I hopped from shade tree to shade tree, to get out of the hot sun.

The scent of freshly mowed hay filled my olfactory senses, intoxicating me like a drug.  

I made my way along the brook’s bank, stopping and peering down on it, listening to it trickle. Bumbling on its way to the river, it was much lower now, as the spring rains had ceased months ago.

Summer vacation had just begun, and I was at the happiest place on earth for me: the farm.

Here, I was able to escape the worries of the social scene I was scared to death of at the age of 15.  

Unlike my peers, I didn’t need the constant companionship of one or more of my classmates every hour of every day.  

Going to the mall, and gathering in the foodcourt was the last thing in the world I would choose to do.  

No bonfires to sit around with drunk classmates puking, out in the woods behind someone’s house. And no sneaking in and out of my parents’ house every Saturday night.  

I had nothing to hide.

Just give me cows, give me my fields of green pastures and blue sky. So simple.

All I needed was my farm, it was my high.  It defined me and my good time, my joy, and the cows were my closest friends.  

There was the brook that chattered to me, and barn swallows who listened to my odd teenage song and cadence, filling in the melody when I was simply silent and needed to think.  

They reminded me I was never alone...

The farm was safe.  I was protected from having to navigate the turbulent waters of peer pressure, and it gave me pure joy.  Un-inhibited, plentiful, constant.  

And healthy…

As the last days of June ticked away, I was free from the shackles of school.

An entire summer stretched out before me, woven with barn kittens, milking in an old milking parlor on hot days, leading calves, and preparing for the state fair.  

My mind snapped awake as I began to hear the faint sound of a golf cart meandering its way down the dirt road toward the interval pasture. Dad would be here, soon, to gather me up and take me to the lake. Probably he was already here, waiting, and Christopher was sent to fetch me. That was my cue…

The heifers I had walked down from the barn were now voraciously munching in the pasture on the other side of the brook.  They swished their tails back and forth across their backs, hoping to keep the flies off.  

I started walking towards the pasture gate and I turned back. Looking out across the green, freshly mowed field my eyes rested on the big old rum maple sitting proudly, closer to the river that ran along the backside of the field.

It was a pillar…of my childhood.

And like the lazy trickle of the brook, and the relaxed plod of a heifer to her next tuft of grass…I sighed and took it all in.  

It seems forever ago. How I wish I could go back to that interval pasture…and just be.  

With a summer of freedom, cows, and farming ahead of me.  

I was a 15-year old girl…who simply loved her farm.  All those years ago.

Happy 4th of July week!

With love,