Saturday, October 08, 2005

Living La Vida Salvaje

Category: Issue 1, Life Winners

I grew up about 6 miles outside of a very small town. My Mum was usually too busy financially supporting us to be able to keep an eye my siblings and myself, and my father was usually too busy drinking.

We lived in the edge of one of the local Native American reservations, and at the back edge of our property was an immense stretch of land that went right to the mountains behind and up to the bright, blue sky.

We were able to go down a hill, and we could wander through the woods, play near the river and just be little wild children. In the summertime, my siblings and I would leave very early in the morning, and we’d usually wander back home in time for dinner. Our lunches were usually things foraged from the woods or taken on the way past our parent’s garden, so we ate a lot of wild onions and strawberries and the like.

In the wintertime we would wander the still woods, and lose ourselves in the deep snow, running and playing, making snow angels and having snowball fights. At times the area would almost take my breath away with its beauty.

One of the great things about growing up in this way is the freedom we had to just “be”. I remember lying in the tall, tall grass behind our home for hours, just watching the cloud pass over the sky. I remember being outside under a big blue plastic tarp to watch meteor showers in the middle of the night. I remember being on the reservation land and seeing all kinds of animals that most people only ever see in zoos – the deer, the moose, creeping and crawling creatures and even, once, a full grown grizzly.

I don’t feel that I would let my son have these same freedoms that I had as a child, because the world can be a very dangerous place, but I am very grateful that I was able to truly experience that kind of life. I feel that the good memories I have from that will probably sustain me all through my adult life, whether I’m living in the city, the country, or somewhere in between.

Posted by winona on 10/08 at 12:12 AM | Permalink
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