Autumn Mornings of Long Ago

Monday, November 10, 2008

When my children were young, we lived along the Williamette River in the Pacific Northwest. Our days were spent baking bread, making homemade play dough and collecting milk from clanking glass bottles the Mennonite milkman left at a our door. I would bundle my wee ones in coats, hats and mittens, rubber boots and head out for the morning. We would walk along the river and visit the ducks and Canadian geese. The children would climb and explore, get wet and muddy and breathe in the cold autumn air. Their noses would turn pink and run from the cold, but we did this ritual daily. Living in the world. Touching the slimy shore of the river, pushing through the dead blackberry brambles in search of a fairy ring or toadstool.

Eventually, we would make our way back along the river toward home. Our small home seemed so warm and inviting despite it's simplicity. The bread would be ready to eat, the jam from our summer canning provided a sweet reminder of the day spent in the strawberry field so long ago...

With tummies filled, we would all retreat to our cozy beds and read stories and snuggle in the dim afternoon. This is where my children came to know Stuart Little and Pippi and Charlotte. I would tuck them in, snuggle the flannel sheets and down comforters to their chins and softly close the door.

In the chaos which I now try to wade through, those days provide me with a touchstone. A knowing that  I am capable of quiet and contentment on my own terms, at my own hand. This is a bit of the life I seek again. It seems so far away as I watch my daughter and son drive off to high school in Los Angeles, so far from the shores of the Williamette River.


Frank said...

According to Thomas Wolfe, you can't go home again, but I think memories like the ones you just described are proof that we carry home with us wherever we go.

Obaitori Spiritual Mothering said...

So beautiful. Lovely memories. Katie x