By Barb Hauge
During my early teens my first lover's kiss came from Jacky who lived on a neighboring ranch. It still is a special, sweet memory. "Lover's Kiss" meant it was delivered mouth to mouth, like resuscitation. In our home children were kissed on the forehead or cheek. My parents said, "Lips are for lovers."
The pace of today's world moves so fast I wonder if young people, or people of my age, have a chance to enjoy and savor their great moments in life. Little preschool girls wear makeup and get their ears pierced. They experience heavy petting, sex and motherhood while still children themselves. Yes, babies are having babies. Children need time to grow and open themselves to life slowly; like trees with time quiet around them. When we do it today, what is left for tomorrow?
On a honeymoon we explore the mystery of one another. As the years go by, we expand that exploration to include our minds and our total personality. In this way our intimacy grows all through life and into our golden years. We know each other as critical, controlling, mad, sad and grumpy, but also as sweet, tender, gentle, happy, considerate, and loving. And we often nourish and delight one another with happy surprises.
My happy surprises recently range from a cheese omelet Art made for our breakfast to a new used Ford Escort with air conditioning which we'll sure need in this new hot millennium. He got a bright red one so "They'll see us old timers coming and get the hell out of the way."
My poem "Lonesome Pine" was written long ago: I saddled Chalk Eye and rode far away on the trail to the lonesome pine. I was looking for love in the springtime; a love that would always be mine. A June breeze caressed me and ruffled my hair and carpets of flowers were everywhere on the trail to the lonesome pine. Beneath the pine I looked up at the clouds as I lay on my back in the grass. Up there were white stallions and castles of snow and knights in white armor did pass. The deep scent of pine was everywhere; I made a crown of flowers for my hair; up there beneath the lonesome pine.
When storm clouds suddenly came out of the blue and lightning flashed all around, I sheltered Chalk and myself by a cutbank in the safest place that I found. Close by a horse whinnied and mine answered him back and there by his horse stood a kid named Jack, near the trail of the lonesome pine.
He shyly said, "Hi, what are you doin' here?" And I shyly answered him back. He covered us over with a slicker he had while the lightning continued to crack. We talked of games we'd played back when we were small; about picnics and the fair to be held in the fall, out there near the lonesome pine. Then he gently reached out and touched my face and covered my hand with his own and kissed me tenderly right on the lips; the first kiss there I'd ever known. He said, "Gee, I never did that before" and I closed my eyes and kissed him some more; up there near the lonesome pine.
The sun came out and the skies turned blue. It was time we both went home. Jack said I should always take a slicker and to be careful how far I roam. We climbed on our horses and they started to prance. He asked me if I would teach him to dance and he carved our names on the lonesome pine.