LIFE IN REWIND
Everyone wears a costume?:
We taught as children to be modest in our dress and we studied the Bible during the week after dinner, attended religious education three times a week, which concluded with church service. My mother believed so strongly in her faith and she was the example for me: never a curse word, nor to raise her voice,and not allow petty gossip or hurtful words to exit our minds via our mouths. We were on a tight routine with limited television exposure, often she would either not allow it or switch it off saying, "this is for the weak minded", and give us a chore to complete or point to the front door, "go now before I find another chore", I was the first one out the door, no need to tell me twice. My mother laughing, " Bonnie girl do not go far and give your Grandfather peace don't go talking his ears off girl ", as I tore down the dirt road in my old sneakers my arms pumping for speed, not a bad day's thought in my head.
It was just June and my new red sneakers had rips and tears from climbing trees, and my great toes had ripped through the front, and were bandaged due to being exposed to the road. I must have looked a sight old clothes, wild red hair and scrapped once bloody bandaged toes protruding from already worn new red sneakers. I ran hard into the forest that surround our home to the great pond we ice skated during the winter, past the tree I had been tied to during a blizzard, I felt the sun on my head. I was running into the zone where I just ran with no thought my body in unison as all muscles geared to either initiate or absorb the impact of my running. I ran to the edge of my grandfather's farm where the railroad tracks told the end of the farmland , so late in the day the trains were done with farm deliveries. The corn was just starting to get tall, and I had cuts from the sharp leaves as I ran through the acres, I never thought about it as I sat down by the fence that had electricity coarsening through its wired system, I knew better, never to ever touch it. I heard a movement through the cornstalks, in several different directions, soon to also hear the heavy panting of my grandfather's German Shepard's as they circled me to sit down about four feet away, they never came close.
We sat as the sun started to set decorating the Michigan sky in dark blues and light red colors, and it started to cool , as the air pulled on my wet shirt and long hair, I pulled my knees to my chin to watch the sun go to bed righteously. I heard the lead dog stand and nip at the air to say , " Bonnielynn time to go night comes ", I stood brushing off my play worn jeans, with my hands on my hips whistled like my grandfather pointing towards the farm, all the dogs just looked at me to say , " and what?" , I whistled sharply again and pointed, the large lead dog stood almost as tall as me, and turned a few times in a tight circle then bounding away, the other five followed. The night had come and I was not afraid I knew the corn field very well and started to run home, I pretended I was lost Indian running from cowboys weaving in and out of the trees, I made it past the great pond again to see deer drinking silhouetted by the moonlight, I ran faster knowing my mother would be waiting.
I could see the porch light on and my mother by the screen door, as I ran up the path towards her, I could hear her light laugh, " I knew you would not be much longer girl, time for a wash ", opening the door I ran into her arms, her apron still wet from doing the dinner dishes. I looked up at my beautiful mother with the sky blue eyes and dark brown skin, smiling, " sorry mom I was lost in a thought", she roared with laughter, as we went inside. I was nine and I did not know so many things because I was not allowed to learn them, I was allowed to be a kid, to run the corn fields thinking I was an Indian in peril .
Every moment has a first sight:
I think about my memories of my life and some start with waking to a sight that defined the day: my earliest memory is waking with the sun on my face and blinking my eyes from the brightness, my mother's cool hand on my face, " Bonnielynn you awake girl, time to eat", we sat by the great pond on a handmade farm quilt, as my mother poured honey water, and put a slice of peanut butter jelly bread in my hand. She stood with a wood fishing pole, " Bonnielynn we caught five fish today, now eat and get your pole to help mum", I can see this memory in bright sunshine glare of loving voice and calmness of a summer day. The day was just ours I did not remember where my siblings were, but I had my mother for the entire afternoon, as she spoke Gaelic to me and laughing as I made a confused face, " it's OK girl you will learn when your ready", she spoke of the air, fresh grass, and how we needed to bind ourselves together in love.
The memory fades away for another day.
The early first morning in basic training, I smelled pine cleaner and boot polish, I opened my eyes the room was still dark as the rows of sleeping female soldiers still slept, I remembered I had joined the Army, I rose up my long hair in a braid that fell down the my middle back, I thought of my mother, hoped she was alright. I prayed to Jesus to protect her as I started my adventure journey, I felt, an intuition and I knew she would be good, I prayed my thankfulness for the gift of peace of mind. I got out of my cot bed and went to huge bathroom, to dress for a day I really had no concept of , when I heard a loud voice, " get your asses out of bed right now it is 0445, GET UP!". So started my Army life and as I exited the bathroom and the Drill Sargent looked down at me, " YOU again, why when I look down do I always see you with those big eyes?" , I just continued to look up at him as I had no answer, I was confused as to why I made him so angry. He pointed to the door and yelled , " get outside you big dummy!!" and I did as fast as my feet would take me, jumping down the stairs and over the last railing like a sheep from grandfather's farm. I stood first in formation, and as the rest piled out lining up along side me, I looked right, I was the tiniest person. The drill Sargent blew on his silver whistle pointing in direction of our run, and now I was the German Shepard ordered to run, and that I did, I ran as if I was running the corn fields, I looked back and everyone who were so far away? I stood waiting for them to catch up and as they did I could hear gasping, crying and someone vomited. Bringing up the rear was the Drill Sargent who ran smoothly and when he stopped he looked as if he never had put any effort into it, he looked down at me, " You again? well I will say, you can run like a rabbit", I just looked up, saying nothing , afraid to say the wrong thing. The women around me fell to the ground sputtering and groaning, when the whistle blew, " who told you to sit down? get up right now !! Run every dam one of you run", I was off again, I bolted out of there as fast as I could, my arms pumping. I heard the whistle sound, "Private Rabbit get back here dam you", I stopped and I was another large distance from the slobbering crying females, I ran back stopped looking up at the instructor again. He pointed to an area, " get over there", and I stood waiting for the group to recover, he took off his hat to look at me and I could see him squinting his eyes as if to figure me out. Many times during my career in the Army people would ask me, " why are you here anyway?" I never answered, because I was there just like they were, it was a pointless question.