My family used to live in Germany when I was little, and our military apartment complex backed up to a vast forest--or it seemed vast, at least, though I have a feeling it would seem worlds smaller now if I were to visit as an adult. My sister and I spent countless hours in the woods, exploring and playing pretend and finding big old bomb craters and blackberry bushes with fruit warm from the sun. We'd pick handfuls of fragrant lily of the valley, our mom's favorite flower, and when our guinea pig, Grettle, died of a broken leg from one too many bids for freedom from her cage, we wrapped her little body in a towel, placed it in a shoebox, and buried her in those woods, her grave marked with "here lies Grettle, a good pig." We visited her often.
Some of my fondest memories are of Germany and the woods, though it seems like such a distant, distant time. Almost like it never happened at all, like maybe I just read about it. Towards the end of our time overseas, my parents finally got my eyes checked since I always seemed to miss everything everyone else saw (parents: look at the airplane!" Jenni: "Where?!" Parents: "Look at the deer!" Jenni: "WHERE?!"), and it turned out that I had fantastically horrible vision. I always wonder if that's why my childhood seems like such a dream. Pretty sure I was practically blind for the whole thing.
But regardless, I still have these memories of the way the woods made me feel, and that sense of adventure I'd get while trudging along out there with my sister, exploring and playing pretend. And when we're out at the family ranch, even though I'm not really a country girl and don't much like bugs or dirt or hunting, I almost feel like a kid again. Matthew and I go exploring through the parts of the ranch with no roads, looking for shed antlers and bones and whatever else we might discover. And I think when you find something that makes you feel childlike joy, you better jump all over that.
Here's a few pictures from our latest adventures--we had a good haul this time, and found lots of antlers and even an ancient-looking glass canister that appeared to have the remains of ground coffee in it. Pretty darn cool.
happy little Gracie :)
he looks like a total hick... hehe
***Bonus points for whoever knows the speaker of the post title. :)