cottage2I loved lying in the tall grass as a child.  I loved the way I could hide beneath waving stalks of green blades moving in the wind like a song. I lay near the pond and looked into clear blue sky for hours. I loved that the sky had no boundaries, while I was snug, safe and invisible.

I wondered in that long ago far away place, if I would ever grow up. I wondered if my young body would ever take the shape and form of a woman, if I would ever move beyond mucking out the stables and become one of the people who drove by our house with great purpose and destination. I imagined that all those people in all those cars had busy important lives. I imagined them going to Senaca Lake to spend the day playing on the water, or to a cottage where they would do mysterious business things, while eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and strawberry sundaes. They could do that; they could eat whatever they wanted, because they were grown up and drove cars.  I decided that I would never, ever, pass an ice cream store when I was grown up and that I would eat chocolate ice cream cones all day long, because no one could stop me.

I examined the mud on my feet and the number of scratches on my legs from climbing the barbed wire fence as I pondered my future. This was interrupted on Fridays by my mother’s insistence that I go with her to the beauty parlor. It was her attempt to make me ‘more’, but it didn’t work. The stylist was very serious, how would you like your hair done today? Perhaps a little something off the forehead? Did you like what we did last time?

Do whatever you want, I’d tell her. It doesn’t matter to me – and it didn’t, because as soon as she was done, I’d run back into the woods, shake it all free and lay down in tall grass.

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