This is another story of my childhood. Maybe next week I will be back to normal and can revert to grown up writing. But I hope this little glimpse of a childhood in the late 1950’s and early 60’s may bring you happy memories of your own, and may, in some way, bless you today.
The Holly Bush
On hot summer days Mummy packs a small picnic for Mandy and her little sister and they join the Cousins and go for a walk to the Holly Bush.
They have to walk through the orchard and then cross the farmyard. They walk along the bank of a stream and stop to call hello to the pigs who live in the field on the other side of the water.
When they reach the hedge, they climb through and walk into the shade of the wood. It is cool and dark here and the light is green with the thick leaves on the trees above.
All the children know where they are going. They walk through the wood until they reach the Holly Bush.
It is very prickly, but there is a little path that leads through the branches if you bend down small enough. Each of the children bends over double and pushes their way through the prickly leaves.
The little scratches on hands and bare arms and legs are worth it. For in the middle of the bush there is a big space, like a cool, green room, where they can stand up straight. There was no hot sun here. Just lovely cool light.
The children eat their picnic in the shade. They drink their juice and eat their biscuits. There are no grownups there. Mummy knows where they are but she never comes with them. She cannot make herself small enough to crawl down the little path.
At last it is time to leave and Mandy and her sister and the Cousins crawl back out, along the little path into the bright, hot sunshine and run home. They enjoy the warm sunlight as they run along the bank of the stream, wave at the pigs, cross the farmyard and run across the orchard where Mummy has lunch ready for them.
“Have you had fun, girls?” Mummy asks.
“Yes, we have been to our secret place,” says Mandy.
“That’s nice. Eat your lunch now”
And the two little sisters wash their hands and sit down to their lunch. They will visit the Holly Bush again one day when it is very hot and they can enjoy its shade.