Thursday, 19 April 2012
The Nineteen Springs of my Life
Tomorrow I will have completed the mark of living for nineteen springs of my life. I was born in the spring of 1993 in a small town in North Devonshire. My mother held me tightly and promised to never let me go, but I grew and with days and years I could walk and talk and leave her beautiful arms. If any child could ask: Why would you ever do that? I really don't know what I would say, perhaps all grown-ups are silly after all.
My childhood didn't seem any different to the other country girls and boys at my Primary school. It is only now I realise how blessed I really was!
The five Burgess children grew up on a farm. A beautiful wintry farm tucked away in the depths and hills of Devon. We had the space to run and run and if it pleased us, to never stop. We lived by the sound of the birds in the sky; when they went to bed so did we and when they awoke, we did too. Long summer days we would capture swallows in the spooky loft above the barn, or we would look for eggs left in the crooks of hidden places and then we would take them into our own rooms and hatch them, only I didn't realise one time that mine was green- it exploded and created a very rotten egg smell!
When we got home from school we would pull all the dressing-up out from the cupboard and get into costumes. I was always the man and my sisters were always the ladies, it was perfect. We made adventures out of anything: climbing on roofs, swimming in the lakes, singing, making tree-houses, dancing in the rain, anything we could think of. When the bluebells were out we would lead flour trails into the woods and lie down in the sweet-smelling bells, jingling in the breeze. When it snowed we played out till our feet and hands were numb, finding any objects as sledges. Of course the tame lambs that we fed and named in the spring and the smell of the hot smoke from the tractors funnel, the puppies, the pony, the Manor house next door! All of it was perfect.
I could go on and on about the wonders and stories that happened when I was younger growing up on our Nana's farm.
I suppose that freedom kept us innocent for a little while longer than everyone else, and that naivety kept us so pure and childlike and therefore so free from worries and cares; we were just simply happy. When the teenage years took their toll on us, my older sister and I had the amazing opportunity of being home-schooled. Beke my sister, hated 'big' school and really couldn't handle it so she was brought home and when my time came and I had the choice- of course I wanted to do the same. I look back and remember the terrible situation of seeing my dear friends from primary school enter the big dungeon the next year-somehow changed just from the summer holiday. They had changed, they were like the older children that had been trapped in the granite building year after year, they were wearing make-up and no longer 'played' at break time. It was strange; it was the reality of peer pressure.
So there we were my sister and I still at home, soaking in the country side with every minute. But the most important thing that made us so different from then and now is due to our parents. My wonderful mother who loved her children more than any woman could ever have loved a human being. She gave and gives every single minute of her life to us and that is why my heart cries, when I think that one day all her chicks will have to flee the nest. My father worked harder than any man has worked on the land, because he loved it, it is in his blood and it always will be despite what he says or does. He worked hard without encouragement and managed to live in difficult situations, which affected all of us in the end and we had to leave. But it was the wonderful blessing of being nurtured in a Christian family that takes the prime place in my life. We were taught to love one another, to share, to be creative, to do what we love, to care for every age, to appreciate God's creation, to make the most of every minute, and to love God with all our hearts. We were sheltered from the world as long as possible. We didn't have a television until I was about 15, before that we would watch videos over and over of funny things in them that we could laugh at for hours. I was 13 years old when we finally got a computer and compared to those around us that was quite a long time. People at school used to ask if I had seen something on T.V and I would reply, 'we don't have one' and their reaction was always mouth open, eyes wide- 'You don't have a T.V? Why??' We didn't have time to waste. We were fed on fresh air. Of course for my younger brother and sister it was obviously a lot younger for them and as a result I have seen about 5 or maybe even 7 years of their childhood being snatched away in the technology of today, because they can't share in the memories that us older three had.
My sister and I often talk about the first cd we bought which was 'Sclub 7' and we were begging mum and dad to let us buy it. They said you will have to sing us the songs so we can hear what the words are! Can you imagine that? I think it was wonderful-perhaps at the time I didn't but now I certainly do. I also remember when my eldest sister turned 12 and mum asked her if she wanted to watch 'Titanic' with her for a treat on her Birthday. So they stayed up late watching it and Beke and I couldn't sleep, we crept up to the door and rested our ears against the wood. Everything about what we could hear was so exciting, we just wished we could be on the inside of that room with them, but we couldn't we weren't twelve. Standards drop I suppose, but I don't think they have to. You are never too old to be protected by your parents!
You may say that all of it combined makes us what we are today, but back then it was our life. That was how we were raised and it is only now we know how blessed we were and are because of it.
Every family has its own troubles, its own issues and struggles. We were no different. But it is the strength and the courage to continue and be sure of the future hope, that kept us together through-out. We have always believed that together as a family we are God's army. We can be powerful, we can be a blessing and many times Satan has had his turn at trying to break us. But he hasn't achieved! Even if we grow our separate ways which we one day will, I am sure it will not change, we shall be even stronger, our army growing bigger. But nothing can stay perfect forever, as soon as a child knows right from wrong their entire life has a new meaning, a new quality. Each time I have to go back to the farm, my heart burns. It hurts to see strangers having a 'holiday' in the house that we once lived in. It hurts to see trees cut down that we had once named.
And now when I wander about this world and come across sheep in a meadow or smell fresh silage, it brings back beautiful memories. And it is most poignant in the springtime, I then realise how much I miss the lambing season. It has only been four years since I left. I was 15 years old and already it feels like a lifetime ago. Then we travelled to a new land 10,000 miles away and that is a story in its self and I also know that in those quick 8 months God changed me drastically. And with everyday that passes I know I am changing for the better. But those chapters are over now and right now I am living in a different kind of chapter, I am learning right now through waiting and patience. It feels like all that was in another life and that makes me so sad, BUT things can't last forever else we will never know how good things really are.
I would like to leave you with this quote-
'What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. - Cynthia Ozick
Today is just as precious as yesterday was, but don't wait until tomorrow to see that! God Bless every single family today, whatever you are going through I hope you know you that you are never alone.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children. - Psalm 103:17
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. - Proverbs 22:6