Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Western Oklahoma in June

if someone would have blindfolded me and drove me around and then just dropped me off, i could have still told you that i was in western Oklahoma in June. just by the feeling in the air surrounding me, i promise you, i could have told you.
the air was heavy with the sweet scent of fresh cut wheat.the wind was whipping my hair around my face.there's a certain sense for a farm kid or maybe it's just me, but if for some reason i couldn't see and lost all track of time, i could tell you by the smells and feelings what time of year it was.i love western Oklahoma in June. heck, i love western Oklahoma all the time, but especially in June.i had decided to drive out to my old house south of town one evening. i hadn't actually been out there in two years. as i pulled up the front drive to that old house, tears began to stream down my face. this was not the house that i had known. the yard had grown up wildly. the barn had been blown down by one of last year's wind storms. the shingles on the house were coming off. it just looked sad, this old abandoned homestead.i sat in my air-conditioned car for a few minutes, letting the emotion pass over me as if i had just found out a long-time friend had passed away. i think i actually heard my heart break as i looked at that place. it just wasn't the same.finally, i shut off the engine, stepped out of the car and walked to the edge of the yard.the damp air rested on my skin.i closed my eyes and took in a long deep breath.and suddenly, i was home again.the sweet scents of budding fruit trees and wheat grass, the mustiness of the nearby canyon and freshness of red dirt filled my nostrils in that one breath and washed over me like flood waters.memories flashed through my mind like tidal waves.images of daddy in the garden and of him working in the field.i could see dozens of kittens, dogs and chickens in the front yard and cattle in the pasture.the laughter of my sister's and my own voice rang faintly in my ears.with that one breath, everything was just the same as it had been all the years i had lived there.i was afraid to open my eyes, knowing what i would see when i did.i just wanted to stand there with the tall grass brushing against me in the breeze and breathe in the aroma forever.i wanted those memories to keep coming. the ones of my nephews and i playing in the hay loft of the big red barn. the ones of my sister singing and dancing on the back porch and me being a member of the "audience".the one's of my momma "playing" in her flower beds.but, i couldn't. eventually i would have to open my eyes and i would have to get back in my car and go back to my new i opened them. my lids were heavy and they raised as if from a long sleep, although it had only been seconds.i looked around at the land and whispered an apology to the house and the barn for leaving them and promised that i would be back again to visit.a gust of wind hit me with the essence of western Oklahoma in it.if i could bottle that scent i would. i would spray it in my house so as to serve as a reminder of the wonderful place that i was raised in.i would share it with everyone; those that had experienced it first hand and those who grew up in cities far away and never did. i would want them to know how beautiful life is where i come from.i would try to sell it, but to be honest it probably wouldn't sell to anyone but people like me. people who grew up in the country. people who have experienced the same joys that i have in a place like this.people who know what June in western Oklahoma smells like.people who, although they desire travel, know in their hearts that this will always be home.i've journeyed to many a place and have enjoyed each of them immensely. and at each new destination i say, "i could live here". and i could. i could go anywhere and be content there. i could breath in the air and settle in and be just fine. and i probably will, to be truthful. someday, i'll leave this area.but, i can't deny that there will never be a place that i love as much as western Oklahoma.especially in June.