Turn Backward Turn Backward Oh Time In Thy Flight

| January/February 1976

2731 Harmony Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

And make me a child again just for tonight. The words came back out of the years with a rush of memories, treasured memories, happy memories, of boyhood on an Iowa farm.

Growing up on a farm and in a small town community is a privilege that we may not appreciate until later. The pull back toward the land surges strongest in me, come spring. It was that way too, when I was a small boy. When the snow, the cold, and the mud were gone, when grass grew and water ran, the annual miracle of regrowth burst forth everywhere. Once again birds sang, animals returned to outdoor pasture and April showers brought May flowers.

The good earth sliding black and fertile from the moldboard of a plow had a nice smell all its own. Pigeons would swoop down on it to feast on earthworms recently evicted into the sunshine. First, the oats crop started to green the fields. Then, a happy shout, 'You can row the corn' announced that a stand of tiny corn plants was thru the surface and on its way.

Spring dissolved into summer. There was the chirp of crickets, the buzzing of the katydids on a hot summer night, and the sun rising brilliant and hot between the barn and the corncrib. Nature give the and it can also suddenly take away. The onset of a thunderstorm from a black, lightning-pierced sky looked as if the end of the world was at hand. But the crescendo hit and passed and brought with it the pricesless rain; water, water for the land, and renewed promise of a crop.

There was the snort and whinny of horses, the creaking of their leather harness, the sharp clop of wagon wheel hubs sidewise on their axles. Hogs aren't very romantic. They just grunt, and squeal, and root, and smell some, and pay the billsand help feed the world. The mooing of cattle is much nicer, especially when they are white-faced Herefords dotting a grassy pasture.


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