I strolled the quiet, shady lanes.
by Ann Anderson
Watched the bubbling streams hurrying on their way over great white stones.
The streams, where as a boy I used to count the freckles on my nose in the clear reflection.
Looking on the far distant hills so tall.
Cattle gazing contently on the green slopes.
It was the close of another day.
The bright golden sun was shinning slowly out of sight.
The back of a dog.
The bray of a jackass somewhere in the stillness of the evening.
The sweet smell of honeysuckle, the call of a whipper will for his mate.
The old farmhouse with its tall chimney, the smoke curling upward to the sky.
In the green valley below that used to be so full of love, and gay laughter.
The old windmill turning slowly on its rusty hinges, the water flowing silently under its power.
The little garden path I followed when the great dinner bell would send its echo ringing through all the hills
The old spring house where I remember mother toiling up the long stone steps.
With great pails of pure milk for our evening meal.
The fuzzy old cat sneaking in from the stables looking
wistfully in my eyes until he got his saucer of milk.
With our heads bowed in silent prayer as our father would thank the Lord for our many blessings.
In the meadow I danced and played in the sun and rain.
With my face lifted toward Heaven, to catch every crystal drop that fell.
Then as the dark clouds lifted, to lay in the soft, wet grass, and gaze up at the great white capes sailing across the clearing sky.
Following the thick, wooded trail, sweet with the smell of pine and wild roses to the great oak tree, with two hearts intertwined on its beautiful stately body.
The branches stretching out like great strong arms to fold you into their shelter and protect you from all harm and evil to come.
Down a small, winding path to the valley below to gaze in sad memories at two green mounds covered with bluebells nodding their tiny heads in the soft breeze of a summer day.
In my memory I could hear my mother singing "Jesus, Savior, pilot me," and what a friend we have in Jesus.
Words to a boy have no meaning or being.
But as the years swiftly pass and boyhood days fade into manhood, these words become a prayer my mother taught me when she would take my hand and lead me across fields and streams, where with bowed heads we would pray with the gentle folk the Lord's Prayer.
I could hear my mother's sweet voice above all others as they would sing the beautiful old hymns I learned to love and live by many years after the Saviour called my mother home.