Friday, May 21, 2010

Lightning Bugs and Mountain Laurel

Last weekend, while visiting my father, we started talking about the farm that I grew up on in the North Georgia mountains.  We reminisced about how wonderful it was to live in such a unique place.  I honestly had the best childhood imaginable.  Our farm was surrounded on three sides by National Forest Service land, so it was quiet and serene.  We had horses (four of them) that I rode daily, rain or shine, sleet or snow.  It was a short walk to the Toccoa river, where I went fishing in the summers (along with tubing).

My dad decided he wanted to see if we could see the farm on Google Earth.  We were able to find it, and from what we could see, it doesn't look like much has changed.  I'm so thankful for that.  There was something very pure about living there, and I'd hate to think that someone had changed it.  I've always said that the very first thing I would do if I won the lottery is buy back the farm.  I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's so true.  There's nothing more than I would love than to move back to Suches.

When I think about going back to visit, it makes me sad.  I haven't been back there since I was 16.  I think that I'd have to have someone hold my hand and give me a shoulder to cry on...  Living there shaped who I am more than anything else.  It made me independent and self sufficient.  I learned about hard work and values, and to enjoy every minute of time I had there.

I can still smell the night-blooming jasmine floating on the evening air.  I can close my eyes and be right back on the porch, watching clouds of lightning bugs and hearing locusts croak.  It seems so long ago, but all those memories are right there in the forefront of my brain.  I can see the light purple mountain laurel in bloom, I can hear the river off in the distance...  I hate not being there.  If there's anywhere I could wish myself to, it would be back there.

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