Paul has asked us to feature community in our
Tuesday Poetics this week. I'm overcome with
nostalgia, which occasions this bit of prose.
Submitted to dVerse Poetics Tuesday
April 15, 2017
The indigenous aboriginals of Australia call it their belonging place … that place where they had their beginning. My belonging place is that part of middle Illinois where I spent my childhood, wrapped in the unconditional love of my parents, and the safety of the surrounding community. I close my eyes to a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and smells etched forever in my soul. I see still my mother’s garden, and the fields that stretched to the horizon in regimented rows of corn, golden waves of oats, fragrant fields of clover and alfalfa. I hear the contented lowing of the cattle, the rooster’s morning crow, the nighttime hoot of the owl in the elm tree outside my window, and the snuffling grunts of the pigs at their feeders. I smell the fragrance of the lilac by the yard gate, a wondrous blend of coffee brewing and bacon frying in early morning, the pungent smell of freshly turned earth, the unmatchable smell of new-mown hay, and the smell of sunshine on my sheets and pillow.
My belonging place was peopled by the good-hearted and hard-working farm families of our community, most of whom attended the same little roadside church and whose children attended my one-room school. There were no locks on doors, no daily newspapers to bring us news of murder, mayhem and disasters. Our news of the world beyond our little community came from the evening newscast on the old console radio beside my father’s rocking chair. We went to bed at nightfall and got up at dawn. The faces of those dear folks who peopled our community will remain with me always, and I am blessed.