Nowhere and Everywhere

It’s a tired old mountain surrounding us, a tired old man with bristly pine whiskers, who laid down on his side in rumpled clothes—laid down to sleep soundly, sinking deeper into the rocky Canadian Shield, a Rip Van slumber.

The flat valley below is laid out like crazy quilt blocks of lavender-touched green alfalfa and glistening grains, waving in breezes, Holstein Friesians dotting the landscape like fine stitches.

The long dirt lane leads nowhere and everywhere, but always home.  Home—a century-old, red brick, tin-roofed house that shelters six girls, one slightly spoiled boy, and an inventor-farmer who cherishes his Dorothy.

The doors are left unlocked to strangers, kids, and sometimes cats, and the phone rings a long and a short on the party line.  Flapping laundry stretches pole to pole in front of the new garage, awaiting desecration by a dirty combine, followed by sincerest apologies.

There’s a garden to weed and eggs to gather.  There are cooped up chickens and free-range kids, and enough music and laughter to fill all the drafty spaces.  There are Aurora Borealis and cumulus marathons and a scaredy cat dog hiding under the bed with me while drenching thunderstorms stomp round the mountain in huge army boots.

The deep gouge of a river borders the land where we run by rocky shores, weaving in and out of birches and alders, chasing pirates and wily siblings. The rusting railroad tracks alongside, overgrown with wild mustard and Scottish thistle, lead nowhere and everywhere.

There are trees to climb, fields to wander, roofs to conquer, and a dusty, dream-sized attic where thoughts are woven into the woof and warp of imagination.

Pictures from home, growing up in Canada

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
This entry was posted in Family, memories, nostalgia, Photography, Thoughts, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Nowhere and Everywhere

  1. danitacahill says:

    Ah Lilly, this is beautifully written. I love it!

  2. Dor says:

    Oh Lilly, this is absolutely beautiful. It reads like poetry. It should be the beginning of a book. It’s wonderful and I’m going to reblog it.

    • Thanks! My poetry prof hated it, but I didn’t care. I actually wrote a poem for him in that class, but didn’t include it in my portfolio. 🙂 I may post it here just for fun!

  3. Dor says:

    Reblogged this on Technicolor Day Dreams and commented:
    This post is so beautifully written, I had to share it. Maybe I will quit writing and just keep reblogging other bloggers.

  4. judithhb says:

    As Dor says, it reads like the opening to a good book. Will there be more on this? 🙂

  5. Love old photos and old houses and that big open space. Ah.

    • When we are young, we are so quick to want to leave the country for the big city–me, California. But I would love to have rasied my kids there and would have gone back in a flash, given the chance.

  6. Lindy Lee says:

    Although your pictures are simply grand & prompt a kind of longing in this follower to be there in your childhood, your words create images of their own that so perfectly portray an idyllic childhood, growing up in such a place– this place on this planet produced you, a very good writer of prose & poetry & a taker of deeply interesting pictures…

  7. I love the rich imagery! Where in Canada?

  8. Reblogged this on A p r o n h e a d — Lilly and commented:

    recycle Monday

  9. Mary says:

    My favourites fabulous images: bristly pine whiskers, a Rip Van slumber, Holstein Friesians dotting the landscape like fine stitches, cooped up chickens and free-range kids, a scaredy cat dog hiding under the bed with me while drenching thunderstorms stomp round the mountain in huge army boots, a dusty, dream-sized attic where thoughts are woven into the woof and warp of imagination.

    I too recently tried to capture a decade of my growing up in a poem. And then another, and another because nothing seemed adequate. But your poem painted a clear picture. The landscape alone allowed me to know who “your people” were. Unless your writing teacher was looking for something more specific in form, or a sparse Emily Dickinson mystery poem, what could he/she criticize about it? I loved it, but then I can’t write poetry, it seems.

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