Monday, September 17, 2007

There Was A Little Girl....

Who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good she was very very good but when she was bad she was horrid. Yep, that would be me. Little bitty, red hair, and trouble.

No, not really, but I just wanted to laugh at myself for a bit. Why, in fact, I barely recognize myself nowadays.

I was actually a pretty good kid. Very shy and unassuming. I ran and hid when we had company. I would hole up under a table with a table cloth on it or hide in another room. I was the worst kind of shy.

As I've mentioned before, my grandfather had a lot of mules, ponies, donkeys, burros and a horse. I wasn't shy about my love of those. My favorite was the horse. She was mine and for a while, she was my sounding board. Most Saturdays I would be currying her in her stall and telling her tales. Midnight Lady will never be forgotten so long as I remember her and so long as I pass down stories to my daughter. Hopefully she'll show my pictures of me on Midnight Lady to her kids and someday those photos will be in her children's and grandchildren's photo albums or scrapbooks.

I hope that my grandchildren and great grandchildren can appreciate the simplicity of what I enjoyed. I'm sure it will seem foreign to them. I grew up half in town and half in the country...suburbs meets junk yards and farm animals.

Technology is moving us so quickly into the future, it's sometimes hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that horses were the main mode of transportation, be it on horseback or by horse-drawn buggies and such.

Yes, I can imagine how much more difficult life was back in the days of colonists and settlers, outlaws and renegades, but though times were tough, there was simplicity in that toughness.

People weren't soft like they are now. That's thanks in part to the technology we take for granted. We have been softened by it, I'm certain. We couldn't hack it nowadays without the warm fuzzy comforts of home- heating and air and fans. Without phones, televisions and computers and all the little gizmos, most people would be lost. Or at least they'd feel that way.

I usually take this stuff for granted as well, but there are times, in the quiet cool of my backyard when the traffic up and down our road is at a minimum out here in the country that I can still feel the earth's wild days calling me. I feel it in the wind that breezes past me, teasing and taunting me to run and skip and play like I did as a child. I see it in the blue skies, white skiffs of clouds, towering trees and green grass. I am tempted by the fluttering of a butterfly to give way to chase and follow wherever it may lead me.

I breath it in like it's part of me, part of who I am, for surely it is.

Saturday afternoon I traipsed around the yard while my daughter played on the swing and I felt the calm surround me, embracing me in the moment. I watched the neighbors' horses grazing just a few feet away from our property line passed the fence row. It made me want to jump the fence, hop on one of the horses and ride like the wind. To be a child of earth, wind, and air would've been like tasting the sweet honey flavor of freedom.

Freedom from all the trappings of the technology that sometimes makes my house feel like it's buzzing with artificial life from all sides. When my husband and kids are home it seems the television MUST be though it would be blasphemous and cause for beheading. I myself prefer quiet time without the radio or the t.v. That's probably why I lean toward reading books and writing.

It calms my busy soul to hear quiet....My t.v.'s off and right now I hear nothing more than the hum of the fridge, the purr of the air conditioner and the swish of the ceiling fan spinning and spinning, lulling me into a kind of serenity. They are the few technological items I don't mind listening to, so long as they aren't sputtering and clanking and grinding.

Yes, our technology is wonderful, but I do have to admit that getting lost in a novel and blocking out all the noise and confusion of modern day is a sweet release from the stress and strain of all the electrical, popping, crackling static we live with on a daily basis. It clears my head to walk away from it sometimes.

I retreat to my memories of Midnight Lady and the fairytales I told her. And when I do so, it soothes that part of me that aches for simplicity. To center myself. To find the good feelings that get muffled by the noise, the static, the technology.


Ciara Gold said...

I envy you. DH and I have been saving for land and I hope we can see our dreams fulfilled once the children are on their own. You're so right. Today's generation is missing out on a valuable part of growing up, of communing with nature and dealing with things on a more simplistic level. Our children's children will have an even more difficult time. I'm so glad I was a teen in the 70's as opposed to now.

Devon Matthews said...

Ah, Taryn, you're a woman after my own heart. I crave the quiet, cherish it. I'm not one of those who can have mood music plugged into my ears when I'm thinking or writing. That would drive me bonkers. I'd probably be singing, instead of writing. LOL!

Over here in eastern Ky, it's very rural, too. My people were all farmers and their money crop was tobacco back in the day. And those were the days, so much simpler, less stressful. I was a child of the 50's and back then it was still pretty primitive around here--dirt roads and outside toilets. No running water at all. When I started school, I went to a one-room schoolhouse and had the same teacher as my mom and dad. I could go on. I miss those days and so many of the people who were here then.


Taryn Raye said...

Thanks for commenting Ciara. I was born in the 70's, a child of the 80's, a teen in the 90's and looking back at how much has changed really saddens me sometimes.

My mom worked in tobacco with her family growing up. (she was born in '49) She and my aunt and uncles and grandparents all worked for this man on a dairy farm as well.
By the time I came along my grandparents lived out in the country and my grandpa and uncles ran a junk yard. Us women used a 10 gallon bucket with a hole cut in the lid indoors(and newspaper rather than toilet tissue)for a toilet and the men folk used the outhouse when I was growing up.

I don't think my kids will ever know what that's like and in some ways that's unfortunate. They don't know what its like to not have indoor plumbing. I can remember the old bucket and newspaper routine hidden in my aunt's bedroom behind a small divider wall and a curtain. And I remember my grandparents only having cold running water from the pump out behind the house. They did eventually run lines into the house, but I still remember them having a water hose run up to the back kitchen window to run water in the sink and a lot of times my grandma would let me run out and lift the old handle to turn on the water so she could fill up a pan to heat the water to wash dishes or fix supper.

I miss that a lot because I knew what it meant to really appreciate what we had. What's that old saying...we didn't have much but we had each other.