Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Memories - The Pasture

Kids these days! They just don’t know how to have fun, sitting in front of a TV all day playing video games, or doing heaven knows what on the internet. When I was a kid, we actually went outside and played. You know, running and jumping and stuff like that. We played games like hide-and-seek, or tag; freeze tag was my favorite, but I liked shadow tag as well.

One of my favorite places to play when I was a child, aside from the corn field, was our cow pasture. Our pasture hardly ever had any cows in it, so it became our own personal playground. It was way better than most playgrounds, though. It had all kinds of neat places to play, and far corners to explore. It wasn’t an overly large pasture I think, but when I was little it seemed like the other side was very far away.

On the edge up close to the house, was a little shelter for the cows to go in when it was cold. Of course, that made a nice little play-house for us. After a while it got torn down though. Probably it was close to falling down anyway.

Near the shelter was a big old tree. I don’t know what kind of tree it was, but it was huge. The lowest branch of the tree must have been a good six or eight feet off the ground, much too high for us to reach. That didn’t stop us from climbing it, though. We found a long, heavy board and propped it up in the crook of the tree, and would kind of shinny up it. That was as high as we could go, but we didn’t mind, it was very roomy. Not quite as roomy as we thought, however. One time Bobbi, Kevin, and I all tried to get up there at the same time. I ended up falling out and breaking both of my arms. I was in kindergarten at the time. I don’t really remember climbing the tree anymore after that.

At the corner of the pasture nearest our house, was kind of a separate fenced in area. I guess that’s where they would put the cows if they needed to be branded or something. There was a cattle chute on one side, to let the cows in or out. On the other side was a huge and heavy wooden gate. The gate hadn’t been used for a long time and it leaned to one side. I remember pulling the gate back as far as I could, it was very heavy, then hopping on and riding it as it swung back the other way. That was quite a thrilling ride, but always too short.

In this same area was a small feeding pen. I think that’s what it was anyway. It was a square enclosure, maybe twelve feet on a side, constructed of very heavy planks of wood. It was really nothing more than a wooden fence; the hay would go in the middle and the cows could stick their heads in between the boards to eat. I have no idea why the hay had to be inside a pen, but it was fun to tightrope walk around the top of it. I don’t think I ever went in the middle of it, though. The grass was always very tall in there, and who knows what might have been lurking in there; snakes maybe, or monsters.

Somewhere in the pasture, we could always find the wheels. They were old wagon wheels or something, just a pair of metal spoked wheels connected across the middle by a bar. We would grab on to that bar and just take off running. The next thing we knew, we were clear across the pasture and had to walk all the way home. Not very far, but like I said, it seemed like a long trip back then. Those wheels were a lot of fun.

There was a low spot in the pasture that would fill with water if it rained enough. We didn’t play in the water because it was dirty, but in the winter it would freeze over and we had our own little skating pond.

Somewhere out in the middle of the pasture was a roll of some kind of fencing material. It had been rolled into a bale and just discarded out there. The roll was kind of flattened on top, but it was still very springy. You could jump on it and go flying off. I also remember one time I tied my kite string onto it and just laid back on the ground, looking up into the bright summer sky as the kite soared overhead.

On the far side of the pasture, was a wooded area. Lots of trees with a little creek, or crick if you prefer, running through it. That always felt like such a magical and secret place. When you’re a kid, any place that grownups never go seems magical and secret, I guess.

I can’t imagine how many hours we must have spent playing in the pasture. The corn field was fun, but it was only there for a few months. The pasture was always there, waiting to give up its secrets to us. You just never knew what you might find; strangely shaped artifacts of rusty iron half-buried in the earth, or overgrown by a clump of weeds. Sometimes it felt like you were exploring the ruins of a vanished civilization, finding relics and trying to decipher what they might have been used for.

Ah, those were the good old days. Time gets away from us, somehow; we grow older and our priorities change. As children, we spent most of our time pursuing the things that made us happy, scheming to try to get a little more than our brothers or sisters or classmates. But then we grow up and, well, hummmm, maybe our priorities don’t change so much after all. I guess sometimes we forget that we’re supposed to be looking out for eachother, helping each other. Maybe it’s time, finally, to leave our childhood behind.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun. I learn so much about you through your blog. Seven years and I'm still learning stuff.
    You had a wonderful childhood. To you it might have seemed like a boring run-of-the-mill place, but to this city gal who glanced at concrete gardens and built castles with her imagination, your life was a treasure chest of goodies.