hard as it is to imagine, there are as many folk out there who’ve never had the opportunity to ‘ride the dirt’ as there are dirt-riders. we had a saturday ritual when i was growing up where dad would let mom sleep-in, grab the 4 of us kids, drop the tailgate on the station wagon, plunk us down, and head for the dirt roads. parents today probably wouldn’t (or couldn’t or shouldn’t) do such a thing, unless they lived in a village like ours, which at the time, had barely 600 souls in it. one main road, train tracks, a 2-room schoolhouse, a couple churches, the man’s store and the lady’s store (not for who they sold to but for the husband/wife team that each ran one), and dirt roads for miles! it’s easy to figure out where my love of riding the dirt came from, and my appreciation for the magic of traveling thru the woods.
most folk would consider moving the “m” word. not me. sure, there are parts i don’t care for, but overall, i’ve always been up for a good move. and i owe that to my dad and his saturday ritual. this is how I introduce myself to each new place we land. my days spent trailing my mary-jane clad feet in the dirt from the tailgate of our station wagon, yelling ‘stop!’ anytime a rare flower or strange tree root, caught my eye. Or around one corner or another, i’d spy the perfect ‘sit~n~snack’ spot. alice-in-wonderland-like roads where the wildlife of land and air were free to be and be seen, doing what they were born to do and where i loved when the secrets hidden in the bushes and underbrush were wondrously revealed with that one, perfect beam of sunlight, breaking thru the canopy. learning that dirt road a intersects dirt road b which crosses main road 12 leading to one downtown or another. these lessons in biology, geography, self-relicance, and especially, imagination, birthed in me such a love and appreciation for ‘life’ and taught me not to fear the unknown but to explore and make it known. i find simple joy in finding what’s underneath and revealing what’s in the shadows. and that’s what new places are for me. exciting opportunities for exploration. no amount of instruction could ever replace the lessons learned during those hours. i wish you all happy exploring…💕 rhonda jeanne