MEADOW IN THE WOODS

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My Summer Meadow in a Cool Woody Glen of Western Pennsylvania

During the late 1940’s, Pittsburgh loomed as the “Smokey City.” Pollution, like we know it in 2019, didn’t happen then in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania. A calm land of peaceful tranquility existed.

For an introspective eight-year-old child, no other place could compare. Lori hadn’t been to many other places, so there really was nothing for which to compare it.

I loved being here in ‘my meadow.’ Thinking of it that way made sense to me. No one else that I saw, except the cows, seemed to enjoy it.

People often said in jest that Pennsylvania had only two seasons, winter and the Fourth of July. Long harsh snow and icy winters gave way to short three summer months. This made summer seem practically non-existent.

Recalling my childhood in those glorious summer months, my heart fills with gratitude, not frivolity. Although severe winters occurred, a few other seasons were more than all right.

Seasons like summer with gloriously warm lengthy evening hours. Spring held lovely promises with fragrant blossoms. Fall began cooling in the evening, but still had warm fall afternoons. These more than made up for enduring the frigid slushy months.

Long warm summer days, seemed perfect for extended walks into the woods. Once there, continuing to the meadow beyond to watch the brilliant azure sky’s frothy white clouds provided alone time for reflection. I still appreciate the warmth of a summer day in July, with brilliant sun baking the land.

My cousin, our neighbor friend, and I often walked into the cool green lush forest glade. We felt instant relief from the sun’s burning heat. We leisurely sauntered into the cool woody darkness hoping the sun’s fiery incandescence would be cooled. Heat still hung on, although greenery stifled the sun. This afforded some respite.

As we strolled through the woody glade, the older two girls chattered about what game they would play, after they got cool enough. My thoughts centered on the delightful calm serenity I experienced here.

My two tomboy companions were merely incidental to me. I paid no attention as they ran off, one chasing the other. I knew we would reunite eventually. My pleasure came in reaching the meadow alone.

I could lie in the tall grass watching the azure sky with billowy clouds that looked like white cotton candy. Clouds frothy whiteness made the blue sky more serenely vast. Watching them move ever-so-slowly across the sky fascinated me. Their various interesting shapes made me decide what each one looked like.

The grass, cropped closer by distant grazing cows, held a pleasant fragrance. The cows seemed contented, and added to the blissful tranquility of that bucolic July afternoon.

The slight breeze blowing over me made lying in the roasting sun bearable. My pleasantly tolerable surroundings kept me from thinking of my two cacophonous noisy companions, nor of going anywhere else. I could vaguely hear them crashing and chasing around through the woods. That I was here, not with them, made me doubly happy being in ‘my meadow.’

My thoughts, feelings, and emotions attended to the cerulean blue sky with its fleecy-white clouds revealing various shapes. As each one rolled by, with its own characteristic form, it evoked something familiar. Laughing, crying, thinking how beautiful. It reminded me of what I’d read, seen, or learned in school.

Clouds shaped like;

  • animals
  • people
  • clowns
  • waterfalls
  • cotton candy

They’re all part of a special place to remember; a summer afternoon in ‘my meadow.’

Author Notes

Judith Norris, Tampa Freelance Writer, writes Education, Healthcare, and eclectic pieces for website https://www.judithnorris.com. Subscribe for FREE thirty minutes writing consultation. Judith now enjoys living in Florida with her husband and two furry felines.

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