My whole family, including all the brothers and sisters, spouses (Except Joycelyn, who came by iPhone because she had to work. We missed you.), and all the nieces and nephews, gathered at my parents' house last night to open their mission call
For you non-Utah peeps, a mission is where a young man or woman, or retired couple, volunteer to spend eighteen months to two years teaching religion somewhere in the world for the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. They don't know where they'll be sent, so opening the call is a big thing. It could be Russia or Idaho, France or Brazil, or almost anywhere in the world. My parents are heading to Portugal! So exciting! (Even if I'll miss them terribly.)
Anywho, while we were there, the nephews and some of the nieces discovered cornstalk sword fighting. What is that, you say? It's where this
And yes, you can wear a kilt. Just saying.
I sat and watched all these little kids with their cornstalk swords and remembered the days when I was the one with my own sword, fighting to the imaginary death with my four brothers and two sisters. We came in every night with welts and bruises from our battles, but it was fun. So very fun.
The next day we'd rush home from school and cut a new weapon. We'd disperse through the fields to check our secret bases hidden in the apple trees or irrigation ditches, then the wars began. We reenacted every light saber duel in Star Wars, and every sword fight in all the pirate books and fantasy novels I'd ever read. Then we invented our own personas, and we put Captain Jack to shame.
Can you hear the laughter and the thunk thunk of cornstalk swords raised in battle? Do you smell the sun on heat-dried grass or taste the apples plucked right from the trees. I can. And I miss it all. All the grass stains and scraped knuckles from over-zealous duels, perching in the trees, gorging on fruit while waiting for the enemy to show themselves. No wonder I write fantasy. Maybe it takes me back to the days when I lived it all with a cornstalk sword, six siblings, and my imagination.