Thursday, August 4, 2011

THORN APPLES AND SWEET ACORNS; by Elizabeth Wilson; 1915

I love the taste of thorn apples and sweet acorns and sumac and choke-cherries and all the wild things we used to find on the road to school.

And I love the feel of pussy willows and the inside of chestnut burrs.

I love to walk on a country road where only a few double teams have left a strip of turf in the middle of the track.

And I love the creaking of the sleigh runners and the snapping of nail-heads in the clapboards on a bitter cold January night.

In the first cool nights I love the sound of the first hard rainfall on the roof of the gable room.

And I love the smell of the dead leaves in the woods in the fall.

I love the odor of those red apples that grew on the trees that died before I went back to grandpa's again.

I love the fragrance of the first pink and blue hepaticas which have hardly any scent at all.

I love the smell of the big summer raindrops on the dusty dry steps of the school house.

I love the breath of the great corn fields when you ride past them on an August evening in the dark.

And I love to see the wind blowing over tall grass.

I love the yellow afternoon light that turns all the trees and shrubs to gold.

I love to see the shadow of a cloud moving over the valley, especially where the different fields have different colors like a great checkerboard.

I love the little ford over Turtle Creek where they didn't build the bridge after the freshet.

I love the sunset on the hill in Winnebago County, where I used to sit and pray about my mental arithmetic lesson the spring I taught school!