The sun shone brightly as we stepped out into the cold morning air. Silver slivers of ice covered the ground. We were headed out to do the chores, my granddaughter and I. Lambs baaing, dogs barking, and goats bleating welcomed us in a beautiful orchestra of morning music. I had slipped my daughter’s barn boots on before leaving the house and I was free to slosh through any mud, ice, or muck we met on this adventure.
“Come on, Nonna Kathy! Come see my pony.” and off we went on this wonderful, beautiful morning on the farm. The sky was blue, the animals talked, and we laughed and turned our faces to the bright sunshine. Soon the ice on the pony’s water was broken and I found myself with arms wrapped around a soft furry neck and memories pouring over me…..
It was a school day, but that mattered nothing to my sister and I. We may have overslept and missed the bus, we sometimes grew wild as flowers, although very cultivated flowers. Children of older parents, ours was an extraordinary situation. Our parents loved us in a way only older parents can; appreciation of the beauty of childhood grows as parents age. They loved us so and we would not like to disappoint them but we knew they understood that we were not bad for having missed school. We loved music and books and that was the basis for a very good education, one in which thinking blossomed. Today was a day for leisurely learning, the kind that required being together exploring the great outdoors. Today nature would be our classroom.
We headed to the pasture to find our ponies, Big Red and Duke. They were soon saddled and off we went to ride the country roads. There is nothing quite so enjoyable as ambling down a country lane, when one should be in school, one leg wrapped around the saddle horn, chatting and laughing together. That is just what we did, my sister and I. We were young and free and completely oblivious to the fact that ours was a charmed life and that we were making memories that would last a lifetime. The cliche of ‘living in the moment’ had not become popular yet and so we must have been ahead of our time.
Late in the afternoon we climbed happily off our trusty steeds and waved as the school bus passed by. It was a day well spent and we would return to the stuffy old classroom refreshed and ready to hit the books in the morning. We smiled at each other. We were pals in the best sense of the word.
All of these memories wandered through my mind as I followed my lovely granddaughter through her morning chores and around the farm. My heart felt as if it would burst as the ponies ran to the fence to greet us and the lambs scampered across the pasture. Somehow, in this crazy world of technological tomfoolery there is still a place where children learn in God’s classroom and young girls run free. In a few years there will be sisters riding ponies together on the hills and smiling at one another and never realizing, yet somehow knowing, theirs is a charmed life. Sometimes the simple life shines in all its glory and we are blinded by its light and we know in our hearts that in that very simpleness there is God and there is goodness and it is, as my father would have said, Splendid.