Memories crisp as a country morning

Days at my aunty's farmhouse always start with a bang. Literally.

My sister flies open the door to my little nook and cranny bedroom with such gusto that I can feel a dash of air dance across my face from its swing.

By the time I open my eyes, the teddy that is as wide as I am tall is gone from his night-time spot in the corner of my room, whisked away by greedy hands to the parallel room of paradise next door.

My sister always gets the big room, with the double bed and the window that overlooks the jumbo playground of a paddock outside.

Sometimes she lets me burrow under the covers with her, and watch the sparrows that live atop the window acrobat in and out with a precision that constantly amazes me.

Downstairs, the hallway is a jumble of gumboots, iced by a fondant of mud.

We wrap ourselves up like soldiers ready to battle the cold and head outside the barricades that is the farmhouse.

The ponies are always pleased to see us when it is crisp and fresh outside, and we have a bucket of food for them.

They gently nuzzle our hands as if to say thank you.

There is frost glazed over the puddles in the field and sifted over the fence surrounding it, as delicate as spider webs, spun by Mother Nature's fairies, our grandmother tells us.

She says it as though it is a secret, and we treat it like it is one too, dodging the hazy puddles and grasping the underside of the fence, so as not to disturb the work made by a million tiny hands.

Sitting on the shelf in the kitchen is grandma's ancient recipe book.

It takes pride of place among the other dusty knick-knacks that gather there, and every time I visit, we spend countless afternoons together creating the golden wonders that lurk within the covers.

Shortbread and red velvet cupcakes lie waiting for me and my clumsy young hands, aided by my grandmother's watchful eye to bring to life.

I love that perfectly boring things, idle flour on the shelf and freshly tanned eggs by the sink, create the things that make my eyes wide with speculation and amazement.

When it is time for us to leave, I always run around the house one last time, tracing my fingers along the walls, hearing the floorboards shift under my feet and watching the grass roll like waves in the fields outside.

I imprint the perfect image of the farmhouse in my head, so when we are driving away down the twisted grinding drive, I can remember.

Remember clear as glass on a shiny window pane, grandma and the bible of a cookbook, the ponies and my aunt and my little hidden bedroom with the teddy in the shaded corner, waiting for me to come back.

 


By Katie Atkinson, Year 11, Queen's High School