Thursday, November 15, 2012

Uncle Paul's Barn

Beyond the Sunset
Uncle Paul's barn was a big place. When a farmer has a trail of little girls and a dog running alongside to help him, he needs a big place.

I thought I knew a lot about farming back then. I knew how to milk a cow by hand or by machine. How to turn milk into butter. How to bathe a cow. And I knew how to coax Princess out of the barn when we all became too much help at sunset. There are a lot of rules on a farm and life taught most of them.

Decades later, I stood in the old barn with my cousin, both of us grandmothers now.  In our memories the farm is forever alive. Freshly mowed clover hay filling the senses. Wet tongue tickles as newborn calf sucks little girl fingers. Rich, dark soil sliding over palms and under finger nails.

"It used to be bigger, didn't it?"

Did Laura say it first? Did I? We shared the thought, the moment, the memories. We had grown, changed, lived ourselves out of the farm and into the city.

I love getting older and seeing my life unfold. We are here on earth for such a short moment. But someday, beyond the sunset, I will view my life more clearly. I will smile and remember when I thought I knew so much, understood the rules of life here.

"It used to be bigger, didn't it?"

I don't know if Laura will say it first or if I will, but we will both know it. We will have lived ourselves out of the world and into The City.

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