Backroads Philosopher

Philosopher-a person who seeks enlightenment. An expounder of theory. Back Roads Philosopher - a person who thinks about stuff!!

 

Wings by Ginger Baker Thomson  copyright©2011GingerBakerThomson

At a time in my life I kept birds. I would have their wings clipped so they would not fly away. Funny thing about that. After a while…they no longer try to fly, they walk around and eventually you even forget they can fly. Then one day you open the door…and like a flash, they fly away. You see… they did not forget..and feathers do grow back you know.” ~ Ginger Baker Thomson copyright© 2011GingerBakerThomson

All rights reserved. This blog or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the brief quotations in a book review with acknowledgment.


Rocks by Ginger Baker Thomson  copyright©2014GingerBakerThomson

Is that a rock in your hand? Is that your house of glass on the sand?

Before you cast your stack of stones,

I may have more than I've made known.

But I'll not throw them, my friendship is pure.

Instead my hand reaches out for yours.

But you took your blade and thrust it deep,

Thinking I'd fall to my feet.

An easier target I'd be no doubt,

Forced to retreat and cry it out.

While your walls of glass thicken with mud and mold,

I've slaved to cover mine with gold.

As tides sweep your house out to sea,

I've labored mine above the trees.

The view is glorious and my dreams run free,

And you, once friend, could have shared with me.

Rocks are wasted on heads of wood.

I'll polish mine for beauty and good.

It must feel heavy to cart them around,

How good it feels up here off the ground.

A rock in your hand, a rock in your hand.

House of glass upon the sand.

Rock in your hand, rock in your hand.

Shattered glass... sinking sand.

~Ginger Baker Thomson

copyright© 2014 GingerBakerThomson. All rights reserved. This blog or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a review with acknowledgment.


This is an excerpt from my book that I will be publishing of anecdotes of my life in rural Arkansas during the 60's to present. Enjoy!

copyright©GingerBakerThomson. All rights reserved. Grandmas Garden by Ginger Baker Thomson or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author and publisher.

Grandmas' Garden by Ginger Baker Thomson

 There is a welcomed coolness in the Arkansas air after a typical hot summers day. Arkansas loves its seasons. In the winter, it gets freezing cold. In the summer, it gets frizzling hot. But the breezes in the country are tonic.  From the porch I watch Lighting Bugs twinkling like tiny lanterns around the oak trees. Coyotes begin their soulful song echoed by the country quiet creating a mellow and reflective mood.  The scent of Iris that built up from the warmth of the day clings to the gentle wind that lifts my hair. It suddenly feels surreal. Something stirs deep in my heart. I breathe in the fragrance. My chest feels a familiar ache as I stare at the white blooms that seem to glow in the twilight of my mother’s garden.  I close my eyes allowing the ache of absence to make room for the memories of joy. With no effort my thoughts travel back to my grandmas’ garden. 

Grandmas garden. That’s where it all begun for me in so many ways I now realize. There I would crouch, as if I were hiding, among lettuce leafs and frilly radishes or hollyhocks and lilies. Small white butterflies would flutter around and land on my hot hair while I asked my ever present jabbering questions. My grandma would patiently answer.

Grandma Boyd was a very petite lady.  Adorned in her handmade cotton dress, apron and bonnet, she looked like one of those Dutch dolls outlined on the quilt covering her feather bed.  Her garden hoe was worn thin and sharp and she could carve wonders from it in the soil plucking out the smallest of weeds from the crusty dirt.  As she worked we would talk of various things.  Her voice was low yet had a slight lift, which reminded me of the sounds her laying hens made when they roosted.  It was a comforting sound to me.

Lying there on the spot of earth that was cool from shade, I could see the top of a mimosa tree. Pink fairy like blossoms danced from an unexpected waft of air. A rose scent that only the old fashion roses can claim occasionally passed through the garden where I would sniff every ounce of sweetness until it was gone again.  The rose bushes covered the old post fence next to the garden gate. I was never sure which was holding up which from that tangled weaving of dark red blooms, glossy leaves and patches of wood and iron.  When I tilted my head backwards, I could see the upside down Marigolds edging the tomatoes. There were morning glories growing up and back down the other side of the gate creeping along the ground with deep violet trumpets reaching for my eyebrows. Sometimes I would line ladybugs up my arm or aggravate a grasshopper until it jumped. Grandma would hand me a radish and I’d enjoy its fresh peppery crunch.

Looking towards the small farmhouse there were huge cactus at each corner of the house. They almost seemed out of place yet wonderful and perfect. Perfect as it explains my eclectic nature has deep roots.  Many a grandkid plowed into those thorny spikes while playing chase even though we were always warned. “You kids stay away from the cactus!” I think every single one of us cousins smacked into the cactus at one time or another. They were the villains of the yard but I loved them anyway.

Along the sides of the house were four-o-clocks and some bushy plants with petunia like white flowers. I don’t know what they were but they made great decorations for mud pies and cakes.  Outside of culinary play, however, my appreciation of flowers was basic.  They were pretty, they smelled good, and they were fun to pull apart.

As I grew, however, I began to notice the impact plants had on others. When the Cannas my parents planted around the trees in our front yard burst into red blooms, mom and dad would walk from plant to plant admiring each one. They did this every day with a strict watering routine with little moats around each plant just for the water.  I didn’t quite get it but knew there was something important about those cannas.  And when I overheard the irritation in my dad’s voice when he said, “Those kids are going to trample the baby pines to death!” I felt compelled to stand guard the next day. Never mind the fact that it gave me a great excuse to boss a boy. It was my duty. The neighborhood boys thought all those little trees in a row were ideal for hopscotch only they missed half the time landing on the little things. Years later, when I drove by that house and saw those tall strong trees reaching for the sky I thought to myself “those are our big ole trees”.

But it wasn’t until I was grown and married with a home of my own that my true garden genes kicked in and garden jeans came out.  While visiting my mom one day she said she knew a place where we could dig up some daffodils.  “And these are doubles!”  She added. I later grasped the significance of anything “doubled” in the flower world. In her faded jeans and flannel shirt (it was early spring and still chilly) she was a plaid swirl as she grabbed shovels, handed me buckets and hunted for gloves.  “Hurry up, get some old clothes on,” she said.  I didn’t really understand her enthusiasm.  It sounded like a lot of work to me. It would mean some free flowers though and my neglected yard, with only a wild yellow Rose Bush and some pitiful shrubs could use some help.  So we jumped in the truck and took off with shovels and buckets in tow.

 Now those plants had been in that ditch long before I was born. The bulbs were deep and the ground was thick with growth.  “We can get em!!” Mom said and from the look in her eye, I didn’t argue.  We pushed our shovels in the ground, but no, that wasn’t enough.  So we stepped up on top of each blade and hopped up and down like a couple of Kangaroos, sinking the blades deeper.  Then we pulled the handles back, leaning on them with all our weight to lift then pushed the shovels down again. Push, jump, lift, repeat.  I know some of you know what I’m talking about. Finally, mom dropped to the ground and grabbed hold of the clump of muddy packed earth surrounding the bulbs and pulled as I pressed down on the shovel handle. Wahlah, the bulbs were lifted free.  I have to admit, it felt good.  We were dirty, muddy and sticky, but we had our bulbs.  And that was it, I was hooked. 

I wanted to dig up more plants.  I wanted to dig in ditches. I wanted to dig in fence rows and I wanted to dig up our friends’ yards.  I wanted perennials, bulbs, bushes, ground covers and trees.   If it had roots and bloomed, I wanted it. 

Since those days I’ve moved a few times leaving my first prized garden. My flowers were magnificent.  For a time I managed to take some of my special friends with me.  I repeatedly dug up and transplanted my grandma Bakers white Peonies, my moms Iris and tiger lilies, my grandma Boyd’s daylilies and flowering almond and countless others. Eventually I couldn’t keep wagging my precious plants around and can only hope someone is appreciating what they have. I miss them.  But the memories travel with me no matter where I find myself.

 It’s funny how flowers can almost become like family.   Grandma Boyds Jasmine tree for example. My mom and I couldn’t bear to leave it behind at the old home place. So we did the kangaroo hop and then tied it to the top of my little jeep. This was not a little bush. Branches covered with leaves and blooms were hanging down the windshield, the rear window and all over the sides.  What a sight we must have been inching our way down the highway. From the inside of the jeep it looked like we were being attacked by some giant leafy alien. But we got it home and that was all that mattered. Flowers that come from someone you love become very special. They are special.

And it continued to be throughout my life that I would fall in love with flowers over and over again. While my children were young it was so endearing watching my son Grant as he earnestly helped dig up a stubborn plant doing the kangaroo with me. When he told his baby sister Caitlyn, “don’t step on Mamas flowers.” I knew he understood. What mothers’ heart does not melt when her children bring in handfuls of double daffodils just for her?   Heart touching memories such as my baby girl kissing each pansy before we set them into the ground so they would grow will never be forgotten.

I still love walking around my moms’ yard here at the home my parents built and I grew up. There are many of grandmas flowers here mixed with my moms. How many years we have walked this yard just to look at each bloom and talk about where they came from. “Those peonies are from your aunt Dorothy” or “these jonquils came from the old house down the road and your aunt Geneva gave me a start of that rosebush”.  “Can you believe how these Iris have multiplied?” and of course, “I can give you a start of that when you’re ready”. And I’m always ready.

My dear Grandma Boyd passed on and with her she took many talents and gifts that I wish I had paid more attention to.  Therefore I hold dear the memories I have such as curling up on the floor of her garden, tugging on her apron wondering if she’d make a pie so I could eat the dough. Many times I’ve been caught with a memory that surfaced from a single perfumed scent drifting my way. Just the right combination and I am back under the Hollyhocks on the rich Arkansas farm soil. Memories link together and I remember how in the distance I could hear Grandpas John Deere tractor as he bounced back to the house which meant it was time for lunch. Green Jell-O in Blue Willow bowls, rusty fried potatoes (I’ll explain that another time) and biscuits with gravy, my favorites, were always on the table just because they were my favorites. White butterflies and the sound of my grandmas’ soft country voice are all but a few precious moments forever imprinted on my heart from Grandmas Garden. ~ Ginger Baker Thomson

» Tagged: writing
» Share:

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.