I chase her out the front door, the dented screen door slamming behind me, my mother calling to me, reminding me to next time, help the door closed.
Past the hollyhocks I chase her, jumping for the rope that hangs from the bell attached to the side of the house.
Its deep tone resonating and carrying me as I race to catch up.
She slows down a head of me near the double spruce trees. Stray cats which we claimed as ours would rest there, near the trees sticky bases, in the coolness created by the overhanging branches. I see her crouch; hear her tongue clicking on the roof of her mouth as she calls forth into the shadows.
I catch up to her finally, breathing heavy, my hands on my waist, slowly recovering from the chase.
She looks at me and her familiar freckle-covered face smiles.
We walk then, side by side, my sister and me, to the pasture.
The grass grows taller then tall in the pasture. Dandelions, knee height will by days end have given a gentle yellow hue to our bumped and bruised legs.
It’s warm out and as we wade through the grass it sticks to us, makes us itchy, tickles us and makes us laugh.
We reach what we believe to be the middle of the pasture and we begin to matte the grass, using our feet, our knees, and our bodies.
We create paths, forts, and a world away from the one we just ran from.
We play, pretend, talk, dream and listen to the silence.
It’s ours back there, and not even knowing it at the time, we create memories there in the pasture that we will eventually refer to as being one of the best things about growing up, living there on the “farm” without farm animals, and one of the best things of both of us.
It’s the last house on the hill.
If you go much further you’ll run into the lake.
You’ll see the lilac bushes that line the loose stone drive way.
A huge beautiful birch tree stands guarding the house in the front, two more in the backyard, hide away forts created with their weeping branches that touch the ground.
There are beautiful red barns in the back and a pool.
The grass grows taller then tall in the pasture and has millions, or least it seems, of dandelions that dot the way.
I’d return there for a day, if it was given to me by chance, to spend some time in the past…I’d return….to the house of my childhood, to the pasture filled with dreams yet to be reached, and find my sister among the tall blades of grass.
“We should stay here until it gets really dark”, she’d say.
And although the thought makes me really nervous I’d nod my head in agreement and imagine how awesome it would be, to stay there for a little bit and let the world as we know it now fade into the fallen cherry trees of the orchard that blossomed along side of us.
We are wives and mothers. Life has changed us and sometimes comes between us.
We are neighbors though, privy to glances across the yard and watching our own children play together.
In my head, I still see her…running ahead of me, her freckled face glancing over her shoulder to check to see if her little sister was able to keep up…
being next to her was always so important to me
no matter how dark it got.
Happy Birthday Kristen.
I love ya.