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11.07.2013

THE FAMILIAR SOIL OF KNOWING


Why is there great soul comfort in familiarity?  No matter how much we love where we might be planted presently, there is something deeply satisfying about going home - about that place from hence we came.  There is something calming and restorative about the place of our origins - our roots. Our spirit knows and feels that deep connection of familiarity and experience all without words - like sign language to our soul.

I went back to Indiana last week to see family.  I went back to my parent's house, the house I grew up in, the house they still live in.  I laid in bed in the room I grew up in.  I laid on my back and stared at the ceiling which showed the outline of the lath boards under the plaster.  I thought about sharing that room with my two older sisters.  [How did we fit three beds and two dressers in one room?]  Obviously we didn't have near the belongings and stuff that kids do today.   

I recounted to my husband a few of the things that happened in that room.  In saying them out loud my heart was flooded with joy and contentment for the childhood of goodness that I had experienced. I told him about my sisters and I piling into one single bed and giggling so loudly that my dad would holler up the stairway, "You better be quiet or I'm gonna come up there and knock some heads together!  Get back in your own beds!!"  We would stifle the giggles long enough for him to think we had really quieted down.  Then, with greater giggle control, we would start in all over again.

On my run I ran to the bridge down from my parent's house and looked at the metal railing on the bridge.  I wanted to see if I could still see my name etched there by a boy who loved me.  It was there amidst some rust.... Nancy, I love you.   I ran on - around the section to my dad's other stretch of farmland.  I found myself filled with familiarity of the houses, the people that lived in them, and even the look of the soil in the fields.  I knew it from the inside out.  How can a field and its soil feel like the back of my hand, but it did. 

I ran past the fields to the fourth mile of the section.  The road was still gravel, just like it was when I was a kid.  There it was again - familiar and same.  I was literally transported in my mind and spirit to all the sights and sounds that had filled my growing up years.  I heard the hum of the corn dryers, the partially turned back soil with stubble of corn stalks mixed in, the wave of a pick up truck driver. 

 
There was a comfort in the know of knowing stuff without knowing how you knew it.   Stuff like; what the clouds in November mean, what bugs make their last hooray in the few days of heat at the end of October, that one day it could be 60 degrees and the next day 40 and rainy, that there is a race to get all the outside work done before winter came, that farmers work like madmen trying to beat time and weather, where each road led, and that there is a quiet and stark beauty in the harsh change of seasons.
 
It was just part of me much like my skin was. There was comfort in knowing something clear to your soul.  The know was so big it would always take up residence there no matter where my life took me.

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