I had a dream this morning.
Not a Martin Luther style, but one that comes of being relaxed in warm blankets on a spring Easter morning.
I was dreaming of being a kid again in my grand parents yard.
My grandparents and whatever aunts and uncles as well as my own parents (if any of the aforementioned were home from deployment) would all be on the porch following service and playing old bluegrass gospel tunes. We kids would be scattered throughout the front yard chasing easter eggs and what not. My grandfather would tie fishing line to June bugs and Japanese beetles for us to fly around the yard. The smell of friend chicken and collard greens coming from my grandparents home. Fresh cut grass drying for hay and a morning dew so thick you could wash in it.
My grandpa had a Wurlitzer player. He’d put Jimmy Rogers on in the evenings most days, but for Easter it was always home grown. Except for Sunday service. No music was allowed during service, just voices which always struck me as odd for no sooner than we would get home then the instruments come out, the porch chairs be occupied and the music start.
It was so real, and I was so young I could feel the dew soaking my shoes and my socks making my feet squish when I would wiggle my toes. I could hear the hum of the beetles and the far off cigar tinged voice of my grandfather singing Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.
I am not a very religious person. I should be, given my luck and the guilty conscious I was born with tells me I had best be and that I need to improve vastly. But I find the dedication hard, given some things that I have witnessed and seen through the years here and in other countries. It all seems so futile sometimes. But I digress.
I won’t spoil my daughter with my terrors. For her, Easter is a day of service, eggs, chocolates, chicken and buttermilk biscuits for breakfast, and play time with her immediately family. It’s a time of home cooked meals, beautiful days with flowers in bloom.
My uncle, Charles Marshall, his trademark grin, his beloeved Ovation guitar, and a quick wit for those around him.
Religious or not I can’t help but feel a bit home sick, and a closeness to my relatives whom have been called home. My Aunt Betty who had a crooning voice so suited to Hobo Bill’s Last Ride it would give you chills when she sang it. My grandfather, whose favorite song was most likely Little Log Cabin in the Lane. My Uncle Charlie who specialized in old cowboy songs and who, if I must admit, I modeled myself after in so many ways. He’s jovialness, always a smile, his ability to take everything in stride. I never had a chance to tell him before he was taken away. It always seemed so unmasculine, and immature. Now to feel that foolishness for just even a moment. He would sing the yodeling cowboy songs with a brash grin spread across his face, like All Around the Water Tank.
My Grandfather, Arvil Stanley, how he remains in my mind: ball cap, cigar, and playing on his porch
In my head this morning we were all rejoined, and we kids played on in awe. Now I wish I could go back, for just a moment and play, and learn from them. To cover those old songs that my peers have never heard and have no memory of. The music can’t die with us, and it can’t go with them either. We must let it play on, for as I awake I realize that every time I try to play it, they are playing with me.
As the morning sun creeps in to my room, I try in vain to return to sleep, return to those days and that moment in time.
But we can’t go back. Home is never really home once you leave, trust me on this. But it is the place your always called back to by those who know you least while knowing you most.
Perhaps one day. But for now I have my memories, which I have chosen to share with you.