|farms across the valley from me now|
The summer of my 16th year, after the death of my mom some four months earlier, I entered into a period of having long bouts of insomnia. Be it from depression or something else...maybe grief...or maybe both. I only know that I couldn't sleep at night...and never was able to get to sleep until the wee hours of morning.
I couldn't sleep, no matter how I tried. I was very restless...and feeling very lonely...to the point that I had to get up and do "something". And since my dad, brother and sister were sleeping, I didn't want to wake them by finding something inside the house to do, so I would take my Cocker Spaniel, Leo with me and go for walks...sometimes lasting until 1 or 2 in the morning.
The farm--meaning the houses and buildings--was nestled into a little valley between two gentle hills. My home was nearly in the middle between those hills, but I always chose to go what we considered 'up' the hill closest to the barns and there on top, I would turn right onto Cox Road and continue the hike up to the highest point on our property, which overlooked another valley.
We had a silage pit, which had an embankment around it, and it was there I sat with Leo at my side. I can tell you about some of what my thoughts were...and they were about my mom, missing her...wanting to go back in time to when she was still alive; wondering what I was going to do without her...wondering what was going to become of me and my family.
While I looked around the countryside, I cried...wept under the moonlight and stars. This was how I grieved the loss of my mom...letting my tears and sobs be swept up into the night.
Now--thinking back to that Summer...I realize that I also took chances again...roaming around the countryside where anything number of things could have happened to me. Thankfully, fortunately...they didn't happen. For where I walked and sat, I was beyond a place where screams would have been heard...too far from the ears of my family.
I think we go through our younger years, being fearless and believing nothing bad can happen to us...I know I did. Although I wouldn't take some of the chances I did in my youth, it doesn't stop me from taking chances now...I just chose to do things a little differently to remain as safe as possible.
I don't fear death, but I would fight to live...then...and now. Some things never change...nor should they!