Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center

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When I was a child in Arkansas,
we went to revivals in the summer.
I helped Grand Daddy clean the gravestones
and pull weeds that grew on the graves.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
We ate picnics near the foundations of abandoned homesteads
among cheerful jonquils planted long ago by hopeful brides.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
my Dad made the best peach ice cream.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
we knew how to hit a log with a stick before sitting on it.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
the whispering, shushing pines were my friends
and my cathedral.
I worshiped there as my spirit grew.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
my nose understood creosote.
It soaked into the tall poles
cut from the forest
preserving them forever.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
I roamed free and wild
hampered only by hunger
or exhaustion -
even sleeping as outside as I could,
screened porch, tree house, tent.
When I was a child in Arkansas,
I took horses as my companions,
exploring woods and fields,
carried and shielded by them,
sharing adventures,
breathing their breath.
Iíve never parted with them since.


- Valerie Camp Wisniewski








Walnut Hill Tracking & Nature Center
325 Walnut Hill Rd, Orange MA 01364Phone: 978-544-6083
E-mail: walnuthilltracking@verizon.net