Monday, May 23, 2011

Holes In My Heart

Behind the Little Pink House flows a creek. From early spring to summer it's banks are tangled with weeds. Perfect for Stella Bella and Rusty Bucket to explore and hunt mice, but not so accessible for me when they get tall and dry; I have to just peek over the fence.

The city comes by every year and whacks down the weeds for fire control. After they rake it up and pack it in, I love to head back there with my furry entourage and take a look around. The dog went off sniffing and the cats walked circles around my legs as I walked around looking at the earth, newly bald beneath our feet.

There is a lot of wildlife back here all year round. If you sit quietly long enough (a glass of wine would be nice here) after the buzz of the weed-whackers has ceased they'll all put on a show. Lots of song birds, ducks, egrets, opossum, a muskrat and one blind raccoon who's been known to roam the neighborhood during daylight may show up. Wait until dark and you may hear the bats and owls.

I came upon two large, round divots that had been dug into the ground and I had to smile at the memory behind them. The holes get more and more shallow as the years go by. No one would even know what they were if they weren't looking for them like I do.

A long time ago in what seems like another lifetime now, my young son had a friend come over to play.

They got busy outside and left me some time to get a few things done in the house. I was at the computer when my son dragged our two shovels out of the garage, and through the house. "Where are you going with those?", I asked. "We're gonna dig some holes in the dirt." He excitedly told me as he headed through the back gate into the creek area.

Upon checking up on them about 20 minutes later I found they had each dug a hole about 18" deep into the flat part of the creek bed and were starting on the next one! I imagined some poor unsuspecting person walking along the creek bank in the spring to come, and twisting an ankle as they fell into the holes, now over-grown with the thick, tall green weeds.

I told them they had to stop, visibly squashing the enthusiasm on their sweaty little faces.

As instructed, they filled them back in the best they could, but I am grateful for those two little divots that spark a memory this time each year, when the earth is newly bald beneath my feet.


  1. I had no idea that you harbored this little oasis behind your house. Isn't it strange how there are places like this in housing areas that remind you of what it looked like before they built all the houses in the 50's and 60's.
    This is so pretty. I'm glad you have this place to walk about with you animal friends.
    Memories of our son's childhoods can be bittersweet when a hole in the ground reminds us of squelching their youthful fun. I would imagine that, if you look, you can find some other memories hiding back there that will bring back a lot of happy reminiscing.
    Keep looking and writing. You have a beautiful way of writing about the past.
    Those are lovely roses. Are they yours?

  2. Oh Jan,
    How sweet. I guess having an empty nest has it's ups and downs. You got me thinken.... I should take time to enjoy the little holes my boys are leaving around, even if the holes are in my sleep. ;)

  3. Don't get me wrong--they are HAPPY holes! The sad part? I so rarely see any kids play back there anymore. I guess today's kids don't know that a bit of hotdog tied to a string will yield a crawdad from the sandy bottom. Or maybe today's parents can't/won't take them to do it? Either way, it's my own private oasis!