Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happiness Hill is our Farm

We live in a small house on top of a hill.  "We" consists of me, my husband and seven children, ranging in age from 16 years old to 9 months old. Several years ago, our children started calling this place 'Happiness Hill' and it stuck. They had many different places named around our property. There was also 'Thistle Valley', where thistles bloomed bountifully in the low spot between our pond and the neighboring hill. 'Camp Willow' was situated on the banks of the pond itself. Big willows hang out over the water and the leaves glide gently across the surface. Every year, the seedlings from the willows fill the air with puffs of cottony snow, floating about and making everyone sneeze. 

The children used to have a place called 'The Nest'. This was, quite literally, a small "nesting" area they had cleared away at the bottom of the hill, near the run-off drain from the pond. It was only accessible, of course, in summer, when the pond had dried up considerably.  A place they would throw blankets and pillows. We took our nature journals, and sat for hours daydreaming while listening to the birds. We walked to and from the pond up a steep, narrow trail. The youngest were always pretending to be some sort of creature roaming about. The oldest ones would hike their pant legs up around their knees, and like Tom Sawyer, covered in mud and barefoot, they'd travel back and forth all day, to the pond and back down that little trail, with frogs or worms in hand, telling tales about their adventures.

Our silly dog would chase them up the trail and jump into the water, drinking and paddling at the same time. She is a retriever mix but now she is getting rather old and mostly lays about in her doghouse. Those memories are special and have become rather mystical and magical there in the recesses of my mind. We have created more memories and have shared many more adventures here at Happiness Hill. But times have changed.

Today, the place looks quite different than it did back then. Because now, we run a farm. We did not have a farm back in the day, when the children lovingly named everything, everywhere. Today, there is no 'Camp Willow', just the memory of it. There is no 'Thistle Valley', though thistles still grow every year, in various places.

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~Blessings from Happiness Hill