Monday, November 3, 2008

Girl in the orange tree

As a little girl, my faith was so pure an innocent. My nights and days were filled with laughter, love and hope for the future. I loved the outdoors and it was exciting to put my face to the crisp spring wind and listen to the leaves rustle in the trees. I felt light, alive and free of cares or worry. I loved climbing orange trees and talking to God. And God would talk to me. I would ask Him questions and He would answer. He always told me how very special He thought I was.

My conversations with God continued throughout the day while I played with my hero and best friend, my older brother Doug. My affection and adoration often irritated him. Sometimes I talked too loud or too much. Even today as adults, I think sometimes I irritate him when I talk too much. But, oh well I love him and he loves me.

We would play in the hose, arm wrestle or race around the house on our bikes with Sandy and Samson our two German Shepherds.Sometimes Doug just wanted to be alone with the boys in the neighborhood or his best friend Mac. In spite of these times of rejection, I always knew that I could depend on him. He was full of laughter and life. He was my hero and the one I looked up to for help and advice. He would show me how to spit orange seeds better, or make a slingshot shoot farther. We would spend the springtime practicing our shots in preparation for the big potato wars that occurred daily during the summer in the woods in our neighborhood.

One time I remember asking him, “Am I going to die?” He asked me, Why do you think you are going to die?” I proudly told him I had just eaten a huge mud pie.His reply,
"Probably, I’ll tell mom what you did after you are dead. This way you won’t have to get a spankin’.” My brother’s wisdom was so empowering!

Doug still has the best laugh in the world and during these younger years it was these deposits of laughter, love and security that would make my days and nights bearable in the years to come.

My best memories are me running barefoot through the yard imagining that I was an Indian princess or that we had supernatural powers. We could fly and Doug and I would climb up on the garage roof with our towels draped as capes and jump off to the ground below. This was so much fun!

We were invisible to the world around us and our laughter would fill our palace made of sky and trees.

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