To be honest, I had no real intention of posting today. Then, I was reading around the web, catching up on a few favorite blogs, when I hopped over to The Gypsy Mama and read that today was Five Minute Friday with a topic of "Remember." Oh, how I laughed at the timing. For you see yesterday...
As the sun shone brightly, the sky clear blue, and autumn air crisp, the children and I drove to my parent's house, then onward to the very same woods I spent the first eleven years of my life tromping and exploring with my brother and sister. Those very same woods have since been subdivided to home builders and a 90 acre park. We drove by the obscure entrance once, turned about and entered a small, empty leaf covered dirt lot. We were alone. It was ominous and quiet. Until my children tumbled out of the van, talking and laughing.
"Mom, is this really where you played?" one asked.
"Well, further up. We are entering from a different spot than where we lived," I begin to explain.
"Where did you live?" another questions.
"Up the hill a bit. These woods are huge," I start my explanation again.
They are satisfied for now, and rush to the trail head. Leaves crinkle, children laugh, and I try to remember. I try to remember what it was like many years ago when I was young. And, it isn't until she, at age eight going on nine, climbs onto a rock in the middle of what we called 'the big creek' that I begin to remember.
Time scales away, and I am young again, accompanied by my brother and sister, building forts of logs, sticks, and leaves; forging new trails; and racing boats of wood, nails and paper. We were free. Our only constraint was a varying description...'stay in the first two sets of woods' or 'be home by dinner time.'
And I look at her, eight going on nine, in the middle of 'the big creek' and I wonder at her raising. Would I allow her to go tromping through the woods all day with only her siblings?
When I voice these thoughts, I'm often told..."You live in a suburban area. It's completely different. Besides, the times are different now." I agree to the location variance. Suburban life and country life are different. I've lived them both.
But I wonder...are the times that different? Are we not still people: good, bad, virtuous, and sinful rolled up in flesh? And is He still not the same God watching over us all with the same love and compassion He did when I was but eight going on nine?
There is so much more I want to say with this post, but my five minutes have expired. Perhaps another day, I will revisit this and revise it, but for now, I need to process all that I was thinking and feeling yesterday when we returned to the woods. As a side note, we also went on to drive by the area I lived as a young child (now slightly different), the corn field I fell in front of the poised, ready to strike, copperhead snake, the family farm we moved to after 6th grade, and a few other places to remember along our memory lane drive.
As permitted, beyond the five minutes, I added the photos and of course checked for spelling errors. Which is good, because I originally spelled gypsy wrong. How embarrassing would that be?