Humid August air pressed down, causing the night to be dense and sticky. Darkness seemed to hang like a heavy curtain surrounding us in a dark cloak.
Above, a canopy of brilliant stars spilled along the milky way and glittered like billions of finely cut diamonds across the black velvet sky..
Sleeping soundly on soft pallets of quilts that Mother had made for our family
August 1966, I was a wee little tiny lass with curly golden hair, chubby cheeks and dark brown eyes.
I didn’t know it then but the transitions of that summer that brought Mother and Daddy deep into the hills of Northwest Arkansas, dug roots deeply into my heart and soul. Those heart roots were as strong and powerful as the hard wood roots of the sprawling oak tree under which our family slept that night.
Being the youngest child in our family,
a tiny wee lass with golden curls and chubby cheeks and dark brown eyes,
I didn’t realize the adventures of the Easley family,
during the summer of 1966
were birthed in the face of difficult transitions.
Finding a house to rent in a community that we called Georgia Ridge,
our family slept on the lawn of the house at night, until we had the house cleaned and fixed so we could move in.
The crashing and scraping in the middle of the night that startled us awake under the protection of the sprawling branches of the mighty oak, was actually caused by a house being moved down the road in the middle of the night…probably to avoid daytime traffic.
As the roof of the house crashed into the canopy of tree branches that overhung the dusty dirt country road, and I startled awake, my memories flickered on and the experiences of my life began to grow those deep heart and soul roots.
Mother and Daddy may have felt battered and abused by hard times in spite of their diligence and consistent work. Or they may have felt themselves hanging along that fine line between hope and despair
But what I saw as a wee tiny lass, with curly golden hair and dark brown eyes,
standing as one
facing the world
working like they didn’t need the money
loving like they’d never been hurt
singing…oh yes… singing
like no one was listening
dancing like no one was watching
not the dancing part…
I never saw them dance…
but they did hug and kiss a lot.
And those roots,
roots of life
dug way down deep,
deep in the soil of my wee tiny soft little heart…
the heart of this
curly-haired, chubby cheek, dark brown eyed girl.
And this summer,
all these years later,
WORK LOVE SING DANCE
just like they taught me.