Sunday, August 2, 2009

Seasons of Apples and Soybean Fields

Just over the top of those trees

if you look real close
about a quarter mile down a country road
across this winding soybean field
through the pines
and the cedars
underneath the eave of those fruit branches

on the other side of a red-roofed barn

on the same tract of family land
as sits my great-grandmother's green apple tree
the one I played under as a child
this very one
is a house

He lives there

I followed a narrow path in the middle of the middle of nowhere
rummaging through a shaded dirt road of briars and thorns
and huge fanned ferns
that invaded my car window and kept me company
visiting lazy afternoon siestas spent
round this very pondwhere my Granny sat countless hours with a cane fishing pole
snuff can
apronned sun dress
laughing 'cause I couldn't touch worms and shushing me 'cause everyone knows you can't talk and fish
peaceful it was

but I didn't want to imagine-fish today
my mind was way over past the top of those trees
you see
in a house
with a man

who probably won't live to see another apple tree bloom

He is my father.

for one afternoon
I could take him along in my mind
touching the blossoms

and seeing the apples
got him out of the house of pain

I don't know why my heart has been on a cross-country adventure this summer. But I've felt a desire to find all the hidden places of my little girl childhood and capture them - in photographs and stories. Perhaps because they're fading away - being torn down in the name of progress and money and greed and family shifts of power and never mind that people are dying.

I said it.

People are dying.

So this weekend I traveled through very familiar countryside in places alone where I really shouldn't have been alone and found what was left of the essence of everything leaving me so much faster than the long long stretches of endless generations of love these fields have seen or ever had a mind to leave

They speak the awful audacity of silence.

And as much as I wanted to leave a childhood of country roads and made a my life without cornfields and such, today I find myself longing with all my heart that I could look into that sun-baked field and see my daddy bounding across it with a potato digger in his hand and have that familiar argument heard every summer of my youth about why girls shouldn't have to work in the garden and how I hated digging potatoes and why did I have to?

the tree is still here
and the field is still here
and my daddy is still here

don't you see him?

under the apple tree with me?

maybe it's time
for both of us

to go home


Julie said...

I've come to realize when your sentences get long that you are upset....or sad...or frustrated.

I'm sorry and just know that I'm praying for you....**hugs**

Cogitator said...

Love never leaves, it's always there, but sometimes it changes form, is all.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh honey, i am so sorry. it reminded me of my grandmother. (the yankee one). she worked so hard all her life that the times i see her relaxing she was sitting in a rocker on the porch with an apron full of beans snapping them into a white enamel pan in her lap. no rest for the weary.

big hugs, bee

Sarge Charlie said...

This may be the most touching and well done post of all time. Thank you your highness for sharing your feelings.

Finding Pam said...

Thank you Mimi for sharing a beautiful look into your childhood. It is good to revisit those special places of your child hood because life does change. You will always have those memories and therefore, you will always have your Father in your heart.

Soft hugs to you Mimi.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lovely images, Poignant words. I believe I do see you both under the tree. On a peaceful day.

Linda said...

Such a beautiful post with beautiful words and beautiful pictures.

Unfortunately, part of life is dying and leaving the things and those we love behind. Sometimes people leave this earthly plane way too soon, long before either we or they are ready to go, but other times people get to live long lives filled with memories both happy and sad and we get to share those memories with them.

I am sure if you were to ask your father, he would tell you that he has lived a good life, a long life, a life filled with so many happy things and memories. That's one of the joys in growing old, you can look back and relive your life, especially through the memories of your children and grandchildren.

Even though he may not live to see another apple tree bloom, you will always have the memories of those that seasons that he did and the wonderful things that the two of you shared together - arguments and all.

Akelamalu said...

Oh my dear Mimi, I am thinking about you. Your daddy will always be with you in your heart and your memories will be with you forever.

Mojo said...

Big hug babe. No words... just a big hug.

Autumn said...

I hope you find comfort & gratitude in the sources of your memories peeking through the pain you must be feeling right now. It's very beautiful & will remain that way even after all of the uhappiness has passed. ((hugs))

Desert Songbird said...

How wonderful that you have a home, for however brief a time, to which you can return.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

The way you have taken a lot of negativity and wopve it through this post is amazing. Beautiful...

Travis said...

I hope these things are bringing you some comfort.

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

A lovely post... cherished memories in photos and words.


Bond said...

As others have said...I am hopeful these posts bring you some comfort...

You so deserve SMILES and HAPPINESS

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written.

Mimi Lenox said...

All - You know...I'm going through my blog today choosing things for an end-of-year post. I was going through so much at the time that I never answered many of your comments on so many posts. I've noticed throughout my reading today just how much I wrote about my childhood and tried to put the images down in 2009.

Thank you for being here and holding me up as I walked through some of it that must have seemed dark and depressing to you at times. Thank you for listening to my year long angst.
I DID help to write it down. It HAS helped. It is helping even now. It would have been so much harder to go to these places after he passed away and document this way.

I'm glad I did.

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