hiding in the hollow tree that somehow still lives on, half-destroyed;
green truck rides through buzzing goldenrod and tangled berry brambles;
skipping up to Gram’s to get flour because we ran out… again;
sunsets leaking burning lava over the mountain ridges;
creaming corn days, warm cardboard boxes dripping with the smell of pizza for lunch;
treasure hunts for crystals by the side of the thorn-ringed pond;
building forts and holes and towers in a barn full of fuzzy cotton seeds;
climbing the hill to get fresh eggs, crossing the road to get fresh milk;
family gathered around a crackling bonfire by the creek overhung with mint;
the farm rolling out from under you at the top of the tallest hill;
art parties, tables laden with shared supplies and traded ideas;
walking under the majestic, white-boned sycamores under a clear blue sky;
church potlucks that are feasts, where we know each face at the tables;
the succulent sound of cows tearing off mouthfuls of grass in the pasture;
selling rusty metal parts and cow bones and broken bottles for pinecones at the island;
playing with friends in the grain bins, jumping off the ladder into the yellow corn;
capture-the-flag games and ATC trades after church;
finding litters of soft, tumbling barn kittens and watching them grow;
sledding down Gram’s hill with cousins and sipping hot chocolate afterward;
firefly-catching contests; flashing bits of flying gold captured in hands and jars;
club meetings: crooked stairs, dusty seats, shouts and laughter pounding the low rafters;
rambling nature walks all over the farm with friends;
eating picnic suppers on the flat roof outside our bedroom on a calm summer evening;
everyone gathered at the last chicken house, talking and laughing, relieved to be done…
new is a crackly word, an uncomfortable word –
it takes breaking in, like a fresh pair of shoes.
the old is familiar. it may be torn and falling to pieces, but it is love that made it so.
you know, don’t you?
when what we’re used to becomes what used to be,
the touch of change is sharp, its hold is slippery,
but oh, how can I bear to let go?
goodbye, old farm, goodbye, old friends. goodbye, old life.
I’ll miss you.
I already do.