My friend Anna Adams has a beautiful post on her blog this morning. It made me think of how we - or most of us, I'm guessing - form a love for the kind of place we grew up.
My childhood memories were in the Catskill Mountains. I grew up in a two story house high on a hill, surrounded by acres of woods. We ran wild in those forests, climbed tree houses, explored streams, and visited an old rock quarry we called the frog pond. We brought home buckets of tadpoles, caught frogs. released them. The neighbor dogs roamed wild too, and the parents called the pets and children to dinner using various means. One neighbor blew a trumpet. Another rang a huge iron bells. My Dad would just step outside and holler our names.
In the winter, the snow would blow and gust and I loved that time best of all. We'd sled down our hill, build snow forts and have snowball fights. There was a pond - Wheeler's Pond - nearby that always froze over and all the kids would grab their ice skates and head over there to skate on the uneven ice. I loved waking in up in the morning to white light and just knowing school would be cancelled and we'd have a play day.
I also loved gaudy autumn, for that first crisp morning after summer, and the leaves painting a colorful canopy across the rolling hills. Red and orange and yellow, so beautiful. We'd rake them into huge piles, then run and jump and roll in them.
Summers were short - at least compared to the endless blast of heat here in Texas. Like kids everywhere, we played in the sprinklers and ran barefoot. We drank iced tea and ate outside on the back porch. I climbed my treehouse a lot and spent hours there reading a good book because if I read in the house my mother would chase me outside to play.
Spring, still chilly, but rain instead of snow. The ladyslippers would poke their delicate heads out of the ground and the butterflies would return. And the birds.
I too, like Anna, peruse real estate sites occasionally and check to see if homes in my old neighborhood go up for sale. I too have entertained the idea of moving back there in an attempt to recapture the joy of being a child. But since that's not possible, like my friend I'll just celebrate the joy of my life now. Except in summer. Then I only long for escape.