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By Janet Andrews
I have a great fondness for the countryside particularly where there are farms.
At times I like to take a trip down ‘Nostalgia Lane’ especially the school summer holidays I spent on my Uncle’s farm in Surrey (between Hascombe and Milford). I have loved farm life since I was a small girl. I learnt about farm animals (sheep being my favourite), flora and fauna which involved a good few excursions of discovery.
One morning about 5 a.m. my Uncle took my younger cousin and me to a very small natural pond in the woods where we had to hide and not move or make a sound. At long last we saw various animal coming to drink the water including deer and foxes. Absolute magic!
My cousins and I loved the rope swinging from the rafters in the barn and we climbed up bales of hay to a great height and hanging on for dear life we sailed through the air to the other side of the barn, usually one at a time. It was so exhilarating.
Another time, a lad I rather liked, dared me to jump from the granary at the top of the barn. I did just that and went straight down into a bed of stinging nettles, that was a painful time.
Another favourite was playing football in the field. What a laugh everyone had when I slipped in a cow cake and covered myself on one side with cow pooh – my aunt was not pleased and made me take all my clothes off outside the kitchen door before being rushed into a bath to get rid of the stench.
We, children and adults, loved to play cricket in the farmyard. Whenever a ball landed in the pig sty I was the one sent as a retriever.
As I got older and stronger, I was allowed to help with the harvesting being allowed a few times to drive the tractor. Then next learning how to build up a hay rick. It was hard work spearing sheaves of hay into orderly layers. It was fun as I seemed to be reaching up into the sky and when finished we had to jump into a wagon full of soft hay.
When I was nearly 15 years old I was drawn to go to the meadow where I laid down and drowsed amongst buttercups, some poppies, celandines etc. and hearing the distant hum of an aeroplane. Absolute bliss, as never experienced before.
When repeating this meadow visit I found myself thinking about God and His marvellous creation which brought me to the realisation that this experience was the sowing of seeds of contemplation which became a stepping stone towards a burgeoning faith bringing me, some few years later, to becoming a fully fledged Christian. But that is another story.
View previous Reflection articles
The New Age of Martyrs
A God of Second Chances
Acceptance & Rejection
More Thoughts on Christmas
Thoughts on Christmas
The Vastness of Creation
Home is where the Heart is
Beyond Fear to Exhiliarating Trust
Sticks and Stones
Beauty in the Chaos
God and Creation
The Lord is near
Having fun and taking new steps with our friends
A friend who stands where we stand, and weeps with us
Remain in Me
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