The pretty good books of Susan Larson

Endless Summers on the Farm

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“As a Kid I Spent Summers on a Farm.” These words yank so many of us back to That Place, and Those Endless Days of sunstruck pastures, dim-lit barns, blackberry buckets, velvety-black nights lit by stars and fireflies. Your parents were around, somewhere, and not paying very close attention to what you were up to.  You were out messing around on your own or with the kid from the next farm over, who knew mysterious things, like which mushrooms you could eat,  and how to catch trout with your hands, and who used to live in that creepy deserted house back in the woods. I wrote about these things and about my Farm in the Country in “Sam (a pastoral),” but– full disclosure– I was not a kid when I spent summers there.  I was an adult with a college degree. I had however, spent childhood dreaming of,  and yearning for, such a place: an old-fashioned farmstead tucked away back in a wild hollow, with a barn for my pony.  When my family lucked into this beautiful piece of property, I did what any sane person would do. I regressed almost instantly, and proceeded to have my childhood adventures in the fields and mountains. I acquired the pony– actually a doublewide monster of a horse with a heart of gold and  a mad urge to go any-and-everywhere at the fastest gait I would permit. I made fast friendships with my neighbors. I contemplated the woods, the stars, the deer, the birds, the skunks, foxes and fishers, with the eyes of a child.  My reversion to childhood has proven to be good  training. Today when I see a lovesome little farm, or an animal wild or domestic, I am ten years old again, and my old heart swells with delight and love. You could call this Acquired Nostalgia, maybe.


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