The Taste of Summer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Remembering is a bitter sweet thing. Sometimes the past brings us pain and sorrow, but it can also bring us joy and bliss. Sometimes it is both, and it is important to have such memories.
This is the memory of my grand mother's farm house.

The Taste of Summer

A cool breeze coming across the field mixed with the rays of warm sun light touching my dark tanned skin, it sends sensations of swirling bliss over my body. I take a deep breath and smell the sweetness in the blades of hay as they have started to dry out over the last few days with the summer heat.

Mémère and Pépère’s house; once filled with love and life, is now emptier than a bird’s nest in December. The walls retain the stains of memories of which were toughed by growing covered in sweat and dirt. No amount of scrubbing can erase the prints on the floor from bare feet all muddy from the bush trails. The many generations of laughter bounce off the thin sliding glass and rings in my ears. Is this what time sounds like?

The colours that vibrate in the garden from the flowers and dancing bees as they buzz around searching for sweet nectar. The bleeding hearts do not hold fear in the center of their dark bush any longer. No more do I feel afraid to get too close, because there has never been a snake or a nest of wasps in their shaded leaves. Only fat bumble bees and delicate butterflies have been seen or heard on the petals of the pink flowers.

Walking through the field, the anticipation of potentially stepping on a hard twig makes walking through the tall grass bare foot much more scandalous. The excitement of finding the ripest, and juiciest wild strawberries rushed through my thoughts. All I could ever focus on was gathering enough berries to make jam. I never had enough to make jam, but I did find the right amount to share with my family.

It has been years since we’ve all sat together at the table in the small kitchen. I remember Pépère would share his afternoon snack of green apple slices with a little salt sprinkled on them. They were as sour as they were sweet. Snacks taken from someone else’s plate always made them more appetizing.

As the coolness of dusk fell upon the home, my mother would bring the food to the table. The smell of the fresh cooked meal would fill the air. Warm homemade bread with a little dab of butter was perfect for dipping in any kind of sauce. Once we are all full of dinner, we would clean the table and help with dishes. Dessert would finally be served after being prepared and baked most of the afternoon. The strawberry rhubarb coffee cake would come out with a crispy sugar crust and soft sweet and sour inside. I would always be sure to add a little scoop of vanilla ice cream to help it slide down faster.

Those days are long behind me as Pépère has past on and the house has been sold. Mémère rests in a retiring home making lots of friends and walking further and further each day. I never knew I could miss a place as much as I do. I do not spend every weekend standing bare foot in the fields or walking through the trees. It’s true what they say, “you don’t know what you’ve git ’til it’s gone.” I am now forever tantalized with the though of never feeling the same heat and breeze that comes over the freshly made hay bales, that sweet taste of wild berries, the smell of the sweating plants, and the sound of the buzzing bees.

Submitted: December 09, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Reggie Drake. All rights reserved.

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