When I look back at my childhood, there is so much I could talk about and so many memories, but when I stop and think about what I treasure the most from, it isn’t just one memory, it was more of a way of life.
I was raised on a farm on 5 acres (or 10…I mean, I really don’t remember…I’ve never been a detail person!) smack in the middle of sugar cane fields in southern Louisiana. That’s where the bulk of my childhood memories are. We farmed, I learned how to spin wool, weave fabric, sew (a little, I never had the patience for it) I rode horses in the afternoons and learned how to make pottery. I baked every day and loved to cut grass in the evenings.
I was also the only girl for 10 years in the middle of 4 brothers, so I loved to play in the mud, walk in the bayou, make forts and cook over campfires. My little brothers also made fantastic babies when I played house under the giant magnolia tree in the backyard.
All of those things contain beautiful memories, but what I love the most and miss the most, is just that we were raised to simply BE. That just waking up in the morning was a blessing. That your day doesn’t have to be packed with activities for you to feel productive or fulfilled. We learned how to entertain ourselves because mom and dad never gave us something to do when we said we were bored…they just sent us outside.
Outside. I think it was my favorite childhood memory. I can close my eyes right now and I immediately, with a deep breath, can remember laying on my back in the pine tree grove staring at the sky in between the pine needles and seeing the clouds peek through at me. I remember laying on my back staring at the sky….day dreaming….all the time. It brought my soul such peace. I would run my hands through the plush Saint Augustine grass and watch doodle bugs crawl across sticks. I would think about my future, but I never stressed about it. I just looked forward to it. I remember breathing so calmly and so deeply, feeling such a peace when it was me and the great outdoors.
Fast Forward to being a busy mom of two, I am still such a dreamer. When I’m not editing images or cooking dinner, you can often find me staring out of a window, lost in thought, lost in dreams. It’s in those moments, that I remember the finest moments of my childhood. That there were no expectations. I didn’t have a lot of friends, so therefore, I never dealt with friends being mean or not accepting me. My siblings were who I played with. My dad worked nights as a nurse, but when he was home, we were always working outside together. As a family, every night, we would spend at least an hour reading. We read so many book series and yet, I remember so often, drifting off into another day dream and then realizing that the book was over and it was time for bed and I hadn’t been listening at all. But I was there, on the sofa, curled up in a blanket and I had probably jumped into the story with my imagination and I was creating a book of my own.
So maybe that’s what I loved most about my childhood. That my parents created an atmosphere for me to just be me. To dream big and to let my imagination run free.
Simplicity in life is never overrated. It is the most beautiful part of it. It is where the possibilities are endless because you give your mind the clarity to dream.