Jumping Bales – My Grandma Maloa

A tribute to my grandma on Mothers Day – if you read my post from yesterday, I hope you read this one today.

My yesterday posts reflects that we mother our children and eventually they will be serving, supporting and mothering us right back. That part of living is circular and I know it will be so with my boys. I know they will give back.

This post today reflects childhood and the mark that is left when we are blessed to have parents that let us jump far and play in the Dangerous Bales. I am grateful for so much and I hope you are too.

We were told not to play on, in or around the bales and so that is where we headed every time.  MY grandma always knew because when she called us back to the house we couldn’t hide the sticky brown burrs that covered our socks.  She was a “scolder” with nothing but love underneath….not a gushy love but an accepting, quiet and calm love.  It was as though she was scolding because somebody told her she should not let us play on the bales yet she had done so herself and knew we were not only safe but learning, living, breathing and “becoming” out in the straw.  Maloa would never have called it “becoming” she was a simple woman but it was something she surely knew. Nonetheless we headed to the bales – big round bales stacked three high which was at least four times higher than any of us.  We played in two very simple ways.  One way was very athletic and really just involved running and leaping from round bale to round bale.  Sometimes they were perfectly stacked but often we had to leap or zig zag and find an easier way around.  The other way was usually what happened when one of us found a hole or a fell into a gap between the bales and started digging.  We would tunnel and create fortes, routes and get completely lost in all sorts of imaginings. 

Playing in the bales taught me I could jump, leap, run, be wild and free AND that would be enough vigour to carry me through the mundane parts of life.  Tunneling and all sorts of imaginings taught me that anything was possible to create in my mind.  Life would be a blank canvass to which I could color as required.  Grandma knew and that is why she sent us out telling us not to play in the bales and then only scolding gently when she found us with the burrs in our socks.

My grandpa took this photo and I in turn took a photo of the photo because that is what we did in the old days!

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