I was riding in my car one day listening to my new Wynonna Judd CD when a song came on that said:
Old tin roof
Leaves in the gutter
A hole in the screen door
big as your fist and flies on the butter.
Mamaw's baking sugar cookies.
We were watching cartoons
I heard her holler from the kitchen
which one of you youngin's wants to lick the spoon.
Me and Billy Monroe
sneaking down by the river
and I'm still haunted by the taste of the kiss
I was too scared to give him.
Oh, oh, oh, oh- It doesn't seem like it was all that long ago.
Oh, oh, oh, oh- You can dream about it every now and then. But you can't go home again.
Now I'm not joshin' you, I really did pull over to the side of the road and have me a cry. Because it reminded me of every wonderful part of my childhood that I'd never be able to go back to. But more than that it reminded me of a generation that will never know the simplicity of living that so many of us were privileged to enjoy.
They'll never know a time without cell phones or laptops. They won't know a world before e-mails or game boys. They'll never know a world without drive thru windows or a day and age when seat belts were mandatory and riding on the hump in the middle of your mama and daddy gave you a wonderful view of the world.
So, the other day when I was standing in the kitchen planning my route from the dishwasher to the cabinets and multi-tasking the journey of how to effectively get as many items put away in one walk around the kitchen I realized the distractions of my life were back. So, I stopped for a moment and sang me a chorus of Flies on the Butter and took a moment to remember why I wrote the book in the first place.
I remember asking myself a little over a year ago why I felt so tired. And that small voice inside the soul of me, whispered, "Because every moment is filled. Even the moments that you use to spend reflecting, singing, even praying, you cram with returning phone calls." Don't you remember before we got cell phones car time was a completely different experience? Don't you remember putting on your favorite Barry Manillow CD, (Okay, I'm wierd that way) or Chicago CD or U2 Cd, whatever your choice was, and singing I Write the Songs to the top of your lungs, and pretending in that moment that you were standing on a stage, pretty much like American Idol and the crowd was enthralled in your performance? And by the time you were through you were hoarse as a frog and happy as a camper!
Where did that go? When did life get so crazy that simple joys were lost? Where are the dinner table conversations where no ones rushed and homemade biscuits are mandatory? Where are the evening walks where life stops and enjoying those we're privileged to walk this journey with? Where are the Sunday afternoon naps and bedtime stories? Where's the old fashion game of red light, green light or Chinese freeze tag? Where's the moment where we realize that life can stop and a moment can be enjoyed and the world won't fall off its axis?
I think it might need to be now. So, here's our summer challenge. Laugh more. Smell the roses, I did the other and their fabulous. Cook a dinner where the whole family is required to show up and tell a story about this past year and what they learned. Chase lightening bugs and put them in a mason jar and sit around and watch them make a great lamp. Kiss someone. Love someone. And one morning, before anyone gets up, climb in your car, open that sun roof, roll down those windows and drive somewhere, anywhere, singing to the top of your lungs. And swat at that distraction that has convinced us that we're so important the world will fall apart without us involved in its details. I've realized I'm not quite that powerful. And swat at those flies on the butter, because if we don't, they just might take the biscuits too...
Denise Hildreth makes her home in Franklin, Tennessee with her two Shih-tzu's Maggie and Sophie, where on Sunday's she heads down to church for a time of reflection, then comes home and makes some homemade biscuits and then takes a good ole nap...