Today I am feeling both pensive and melancholy. I didn't set out to combine these two states of being. I just went out into the garden to begin stripping out the ravages of neglect and winter and suddenly found myself thinking about the way things used to be and how I long for some of those things to return.
When the girls were young we all lived in a 100 year old farm house and had 10 acres for things like horses, sheep and gardens. I miss living there. I didn't know I would miss the sound of the pheasants calling or the raspy bark of the foxes who were hoping to eat them. How could I know then that I would miss the smell of tar weed growing in the pasture, especially when it can be a real problem for you when your horses eat it.
I miss seeing my horse parked under the ancient pear trees and the old Gravenstein apple tree, in my mind she looks as fat as a tick and she is munching windfall fruit. She used to do that until she looked rabid from all the foam and juice that escaped from the corners of her mouth as she ate to her hearts content. I thought about her as I watched the neighbor's horses eating away at the new bluegrass growing in their pasture. There's no tar weed here in Kentucky and I definitely miss the scent. I didn't know that I would miss the sheep either although they were stupid animals, leaving no doubt in my mind as to why God calls us sheep, but I miss them. Did you know that sheep really do learn to come when they are called and they really do know their shepherd's voice? I remember a neighbor, Olga, who used to call her sheep by baaing Beethoven's Fifth. Baa, baa, baa, baaaaaa. Baa, baa, baa, baaaaaaa! Her sheep wouldn't come to the barn for anyone else but then, who else would baa Beethoven's Fifth?
There are a multitude of things I didn't know would be on my mind today. I didn't know the last time I rode a bike it would be the last time I rode a bike. Same goes for riding my horse. I tried hard to remember these moments. The last time moments that you didn't know were going to be your last time. Would I have treasured them more if I had known? I didn't know the last time I was kissed it would be the last time. Of course if I had known then what I know now that last kiss wouldn't have been my last kiss.... but that's a discussion for another day and probably not on my blog.
In the sunshine promises of spring, I found myself missing my friends in California. I long to be there for my friend, Vicki, who lost her mom last month. I loved her mom. Her mom was sweet and funny and kind. Empathy for Vicki had me thinking of my mom. I miss her. I can still smell her. Who would ever have thought that the faint fragrances of Rolaids, Pall Mall cigarettes and Aqua Net hairspray mixed with everything else that was mom could be so good?
I miss my youth but only because I looked and felt better. I don't want to return to that mixed up mess of a person that I was. I enjoy being nearly 52, I only wish I could enjoy it more before my arthritis kicks in. There's only so much weed pulling I can do before the muscles and joints protest. I protested a lot about pulling weeds when I was young but that was about being lazy. Now, I miss the gardens of my youth, mostly because I miss what they brought in the way of family togetherness.
I miss my kids. I miss my family. I am happy and content here but I want to have some moments to cherish before the last, last time comes and I miss it.