It's ironic how memories have a way of attending
the present mind's eye. I must have heard my
mother sing that song a hundred times as a child.
My mother, I now believe, for reasons of keeping
her sanity, used to pile us kids in the car and
drive to places unknown. Often, a neighborhood
kid would hop in too. There was a mountain that
sat on the periphery of our little town. Actually
the mountain was little too, more of a large hill.
It was called Mars Hill Mountain. Maybe the
name changed to Bigrock after well travelled skiers
cracked jokes about our beloved hill of till.
Anyway, something about circling the mountain
inspired Mum into a nonstop sing-song.
Pioneer Girls had nothing on my mother.
She sang a variety of melodies that plucked
at our heart strings, sometimes not so
gently. She came into her element when we'd
plead, "Sing Old Shep, please sing Old Shep!"
By the time she had finished singing about
Old Shep's departure to the place
"where the good doggies go...", most of us
were in tears and feeling a rather noble
touch of compassion for the futility of dogs'
plight. Our nobleness was further nurtured
by her as she pointed out nature's sights
and smells. She'd say, "Smell the sweet hay"
or, "Feel how soft these pussy willows are."
We were alway smelling or feeling something.
"Isn't the sky beautiful?", she'd ask. It
looked like a sky to me. She'd mention the
clouds and the different shades of blue.
Didn't we see how the sky looked like the ocean
and the clouds like a rippling shore-line?
I see it now. Wasn't Mum brilliant?
She knew God personally, you know.