By Lynn Moncus
At long last, Aggie and I found the courage and the energy to take a trip out home in order to renew our inner selves and to spend a few hours amid the spirits of the past and the beauty of the present.
To do that fairly safely, we put the old car out to pasture and took a newer one to see if it would at least know its driver. All went well!
Most of you are aware that place is very important to this woman from Ima and that the major place in my heart is in those canyons of home. When we arrived at the Ima corner and got out into knee-high grass, I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing or feeling. Perhaps I have seen the grass that tall, but I surely don’t think I ever saw it any taller. As it rustled on my pant legs, I was remembering the many years during which it barely rustled because it hardly came to my ankles.
As we stood on the bluff above Black Jack’s cave, I was looking across the canyon at the remains of Grandmother’s house and wondering if I could manage to wander down there in order to stand on the porch once again. I hadn’t been down there in several years and had just about decided I might never walk down that hill again. That thought set the teeth on edge and sort of dared me to drive over to see some of the beauty from that side of the canyon.
Once we got out of the car, I knew the feet were going to start walking down that road and but hoped the energy to climb out would be available. Aggie was just as eager as I to do a little extra walking and looking. We stopped near the top to give me a chance to throw some rocks at a favorite target below the road. I couldn’t believe I hit it right off but knew that was a good sign that all was well. We kept right on going and finally got to the corral. We had to fight our way through bushes and weeds in order to go on to the remains of the house.
Of course, I was traveling among memories of those long ago years during which we lived there and thought nothing of running up and down that hill. Although much of the house and the separate kitchen are gone, the place looked just as beautiful and comfortable as it had from the time I could remember. The periwinkle, trumpet vines, and sweat peas Grandmother had planted when the house was first built are still showing off and letting us know how tough some of that pioneer spirit was. Although the locust tree she gave me 70 years ago is no longer alive, several of its sprouts are still growing strong, and it is still standing tall and proud at the entrance to the yard.
We wandered around for a little while as I collected thoughts and emotions. I decided to wait until another time to go back to the spring as I knew when we had done all we needed to do during one outing. I then decided to try to call a friend from that front porch, only to learn that the cell phone wasn’t about to get out of those canyons. I was rather pleased to learn that after I was ready to begin the climb out because I might not have made the trip down had I known we would have been cut off from civilization one more time.
As we climbed out, both of us needed to stop to rest rather frequently. I was also watching the buzzards circling over head and told them they would just have to wait a while longer for the lunch they thought they might be going to get. Watching them play in those air currents above the canyon was always a favorite pastime, and that hasn’t changed.
Aggie looked at me as if to say that two old girls should have had better sense than to take that walk, but she became happier as we drank some cool water and caught our breath.
Obviously, I don’t own those canyons, but they will always own me and will remind me of the importance of growing up in our county among so many wonderful people.
Those who have not had such an opportunity have missed much!