I grew up in the country. I've mentioned before in this blog about the smallness of the town and the school. I lived 5 miles from town. My family owned hundreds of acres of land. My grandparents lived across the road and down in the valley from us. There was a lot of forest in the areas between us, but the bottom of the valley was cleared with plenty of land for kids to play. And my cousins and I did a lot of that over the summers.
Because of how close in distance we were, we would walk down to Grandma and Grandpa's more often than we would drive, particularly in the summer. We would walk beside the main road to the turn off for my grandparent's driveway and then down the driveway. It was a single lane rut driveway under the cover of trees. It was one of the most quiet and peaceful places that I've ever been.
Sometimes, when we were walking, I'd come across a goose feather. I picked them up whenever I came across one. I loved the way that the barbs could move forward and back, how delicate the shaft was. I was fascinated with the change of color along the feather. I remember thinking that if I got enough of them, maybe I could fly. Or, when I got a little older, wondering if I could fashion a real quill pen from it. I never did try, though.
I have a lot of memories from those days. But finding the feathers were unexpected surprises that always filled me with delight.
Note: If you'd like to see a picture of my grandparents' driveway, take a look at my uncle's photo gallery. I can't link directly (and I don't want to use his picture without his permission), so the picture is under the color gallery, pictures 22 and 23.