When I moved out of the old farmhouse to start a new life as a newlywed, I knew I would miss my family a little, but I had no idea how much I would miss the farm itself. Even though I still work for the farm, with the store on the end of the road I don’t often make the time to go past it. Too busy running from one place to the next! No longer is it a daily occurrence to see the old grey barn or bunkers filled with silage. When I do make it back to the farm it’s to spend some time by myself walking the dirt roads that weave around cornfields all the way down to the riverside.
These walks never fail to show me just how fast everything changes on a farm. The corn this summer has shot up so fast! Though time continues to evolve the farm into a place where details begin to blur, every step of the land is full of memories.
Rounding the corner of the bunkers at the edge of the barns is where you can overlook the land almost to the river. I can almost hear the laughter of my siblings as we run through the fields, the irrigation soaking our blonde heads. Over there is the little pond where the blue herons like to hang out. The creek flowing from that little pond is the best to play in, it even has a deep area where only the big kids could swim. Sometimes you could even catch a crawdad near the rocks!
All the way down to the river at the edge of the farm, stories come back to me. Different stories every day, triggered by a certain tree or a type of plant. Yesterday as I was nearing the river bar, I noticed the air was permeated with the scent of blackberries! Even something as simple as a scent brings back memories of summer days.
Though most of them need a little more time, I managed to find a few to sample among the giant bushes growing wild. Though a little smaller this year due to the heat, they are still filled with the same sweet juice that tends to stain your hands instantly.
If anyone has picked blackberries before, they know the bushes these sweet little bundles grow on are absolutely loathe to give them up! The berries are a favorite summer time treat, but if you’re not cautious (and even if you are!), you may end up with some scratches and thorns stuck in you! Even though I was very careful about reaching around the thorns yesterday, I wasn’t watching my legs closely enough and ended up drawing blood! Violent little bushes.
When we were kids, blackberry season was always a highlight of the summer. My memories are so full of riding in loader buckets and competitions to find the biggest berry, I don’t even remember ever getting pricked by the thorns. I don’t remember being stung by the stinging needles that tended to intertwine themselves in the underbrush where our dirt covered feet would land. Farms are more than lots of fields and cows, they are the keepers of childhoods and the birthplace of amazing memories. A very important part of our heritage as Americans we should treasure deeply. Plus, you know, farms feed us and all that good stuff 😉