They hang like twinkling diamonds in the ink of night. We lay on our backs upon quilts sewn by hands that were gnarled and divine, my grandmother’s hands. I can feel her love pressing against my back and my heart swells with the memories of summers past. I am 8 years old and I am lying in the pickup bed of the old red Chevy. My cousin’s are wrestling around me and all I wish for is to be peaceful and look up into the stars. My grandmother is leaning over the bed with a cherry pie in her hands. The cousins stop rough housing as the scent of the crust, made with butter and the cherries, handpicked from the trees that afternoon are beckoning. I can’t really make out her beloved face in the dusk but I can feel her breath upon my cheek as she whispers into my ear “Your favorite.”
That summer was the beginning of many summers with my grandmother. Each memory becomes another layer of my heart for the country. Though I was raised a city mouse I was always eager for the country. Laughing with my grandfather as he taught me how to ride a horse and sitting on his lap I learned to drive a Chevy pickup. I can still remember the scents of his cologne and his pipe and the homemade biscuits and pies my grandmother made. The ranch was sold after their deaths, one at 87 and the other at 100. Amazing love between them and I am the bearer of the quilts that came before.
I have called my husband out to join me and we lay on our backs with our hands entwined and we look up into the expanse of sky with stars that are a constant. When generations have come and gone the stars will keep shining. We call out the galaxies we see as they appear. We watch the last vapor of a star streak across the night sky. It’s a country tradition to just be still and count the stars. To know that from the beginning of time stars kept watch by night. These days we don’t eat many pies, but we still watch the stars and court our love beneath them. Carrying on the country legacy my grandparents gave us.
Lynn Schriner aka Organic Girl is a singer/songwriter and 2013 Independent country music associations Folk Artist of the year. She lives on Trolley Farm with her husband and animals and writes every day about the journey.