Raspberry Summers

March 29, 2011
My lips were always stained a bright pink. I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house, which was over run by arches laced with blackberries and-my favorite-raspberries. Looking back, swinging in hammocks, lounging in the pool, plucking berries off their vines nonchalantly, and playing in a sand pit sounds like a glorious way for a ten year old to spend a summer. And I suppose it was.
It wasn't, of course, THAT tranquil. I was injured several times; I was the quiet runt, so I was thrown off the hammock, dunked into the pool, and hit in the head with toys on an almost regular basis. Ice packs were my best friends on that trip.
We did, however, do a wonderful amount of hiking, which I adored fully. My grandmother was thrilled to have someone to share the excitement and joy with, while her second husband and two sons trudged, mumbling, behind us. We searched for fossils in a cool, clear river, hiked over a gigantic field of large boulders, and went in search of plants to press into books and preserve.
Nature was obviously an important part of life at my grandmother's, and I like to think I honored that pretty well. Now, here I am, four years older and living in a slightly overpopulated rural area. School and home are all I know. No nature excursions around here. The closest I get to hiking is the fifteen minute walk to school. I hardly see my grandmother, because she's an hour away, and my weekends are often dedicated to reading, being dragged on shopping trips, and cleaning. I live a charmed life, filled with books, television, and online story-sharing websites. However, this doesn't stop me from thinking back to the immense simplicity of the days I spent in Pennsylvania with my grandmother.
Back then, hard work and chores were two very different things, you could add an element of fun to just about everything, and the light at the end of the tunnel shone a lot quicker and brighter. We all know how THAT changes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a "downer" or an extremely negative person, but those good ol' days seem so much happier and more carefree.
I think about that summer often, with all of it's misadventures, excitement, and sweet triviality. It's the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word "childhood," because, frankly, no one but an innocent, eager child could accomplish all that I did with the emotions I did. The world seemed so beautiful and small. Everyone was happy, I was happy, the sun was shining.
I was later introduced to the not-so-great aspects of life, like responsibility, and watching other people suffer. My mind hardly retains any immaturity from my childhood days, besides my wild imagination. At least that never changed. My love for writing and creating worlds and tales hasn't ceased yet. There are too many possibilities to explore, too many thrilling stories to uncover and tell with all the proper drama!
My imagination soared that summer. In the soft blades of grass that covered moist, pleasant soil, my bare toes would dig in, as if to hold my body down while my soul drifted off into places of wonder. Fairytales and sad stories. Adventure and Romance. I saw them all, and recounted them to anyone who would listen. Discovering, writing, creating. It was all a burning passion that no amount of daydreaming and scribbling words onto paper could control. It still isn't. Even now, as I write this little memoir, I'm imagining two new stories in the back of my head.
So I'll be quick in my ending. The entire purpose of this was to remember my childhood, remember how I've changed and remained the same. Remember how I got to be the current me. And of course...to pay tribute to the birthplace of my passion, my Raspberry Summers.

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