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I have had a lot of first time memories in my life but some of the most memorable happened when I met and fell in love with a farm girl.

It was my first time with a country girl. They are so different than city women. It was my first time living in the country and living on a working farm. It was my first time caring for the animals, tending to the crops, and making love in a stack of fresh, soft hay in the barn. It was my first time making love in grass at night in the moonlight and then looking up to count the stars. It was my first time listening to nature and feeling the bond between the land, the water, and the sky.

We, all of us, for the brief time we are here, are just squatters, and we not only owe it to nature to give back more than we take but, also, we owe it to those who come after we are gone. This is my Earth Day story.

Her name was Nellie Belle and you did not have to tell her about Earth Day. Every day to her was Earth Day. We met through one of those online dating services, hit it off, started dating, and, within two months, moved in together.

“So, do you country folk have special plans for Earth Day?”

“Earth Day?” She looked at me like I was hitting the moonshine.

“Yeah, Earth Day, April 22nd, the day we celebrate clean air, land conservation, and improving water quality,” I said suddenly feeling like an environmentalist or a conservationist.

“Today’s no different than yesterday” she said with a wry smile, “and it won’t be no different than tomorrow.” She squatted down to grab a handful of soil and blew it from her opened palm. “Every day I’m alive is my Earth Day.” She knocked her hands together and wiped off the rest of the dirt on her jeans.

She gave me a look that made me feel like I was from another planet, Planet Concrete. She always made me feel like I did not know much; she was right. Compared to her, I was a newborn.

“You city boys have to celebrate Earth Day because living in the city; you live in opposition to nature.” She laughed. “The closest you come to nature is when it rains and, then, afraid to get wet, afraid you may melt, you cover yourself with an umbrella.” She kicked at the dirt by her feet and stuffed her hands in her back pockets. “Shucks, I don’t even own an umbrella.”

“Hey, don’t be disrespecting my Polo umbrella.” I laughed but she did not.

She raised her head, lifted her arms with palms up, and inhaled a deep breath of clean air. “Here, I’m in harmony with nature.” She twirled around like that with her head back and her arms lifted skyward and outstretched as if doing some sort of sacred Indian dance. Then, she stopped suddenly and asked me with a look, “Don’t you feel it?” I didn’t. To me, it was just another nice day. And if I twirled around like that with my head back and my arms up, I would have gotten dizzy, fell over, and rolled down the hill. Besides, I was already pissed because I had cow shit all over my new shoes.

She was a woman of the land and as much a part of the dirt she trod as was the grass that swayed in the breeze and the trees that stretched to embrace the sky. This was the only life she had known. I should have known better than to ask a farmer about Earth Day.

“Honey, get my shotgun. This city slicker is asking me about Earth Day. Either he’s trying to steal my land or is trying to sell me back my land after he steals it.”

She was the first person that I have ever met who truly needed nothing, desired Bahçelievler escort nothing, and needed no one. She was strong, self-sufficient, and assertive. And she was a woman. We guys attribute those qualities to men, strong, self-sufficient, and assertive. Yet, for me, when women possess those qualities; those are the women who I want to bed, rather than the helpless, meek and weak fluff that so many women feel that they must exhibit to attract and keep a man. I do not want to dominate my woman. I want an equal. I want a life partner. I want someone who I can depend on to pick up the slack when I falter and cannot pull my share.

What happened to us? Where did we all go when we stood upright, donned a suit coat or a dress, and danced to someone else’s song for our paycheck? Had we paid attention to the inherit things we were born with, we would not need to celebrate an Earth Day. Earth Day would be redundant and celebrating Earth Day would be like celebrating Breathing Day or Living Day. Now, we are so detached from the Earth and from nature that we need a holiday to remind us to take one day out of 365 days to pay homage to the Earth, yet, still, we do not. We give it lip service, think briefly about it, and, then, continue with our habitual routine of planet destruction by polluting the air with automobile emissions because a block is too far to walk, obliterating the land with clear cut land development for cookie cutter neighborhoods, shopping malls, and parking lots, and fouling the water with dams that destroy the ecology and factories that manufacture nothing we cannot do without.

“You ain’t nobody if you ain’t got a bit of land,” she said standing on a rolling hill that gave her a view of her land clear down to the river, a river with clean water that she drinks without boiling first.

She had hair the color of heather on a hot summer’s day that she gathered together beneath a straw hat that fit her like she was born with it. She never worried about her hair and had never been to a hairdresser. She just smooth it back with her hand, removing an errant bee or piece of straw and relocated her hat back as if it had never been removed and was part of her head. Without makeup and fancy clothes masking and distorting who she was, and if you could see past the imperfections that we all have, she was pretty in a country girl sort of way.

Although she wore no perfume, she had the natural sweet fragrance of Honeysuckle. She was wiry with long legs and long arms but was as strong as she was thin and always chewed a sprig of wheat that she grew out back somewhere.

“Out yonder there,” she pointed behind her without turning to look, “it grows wild.” She smiled, “I don’t have to do nothin’ but harvest the crop.”

The wheat helped her to think, I think. She gnawed on that sprig for a spell and eventually would have the answer to any complex problem.

“Best we get the horses in the barn,” she said suddenly sensing a change around her. “It’s gonna storm.”

“Nonsense, the weatherman said today is bright and sunny. There’s not a cloud in the sky.”

I looked up and put my head back, inhaled a big breath of nature, and was just about to raise my arms and twirl around, when I got dizzy and started coughing. She laughed at that. Then, she gave me that look that made me believe it would snow if she said so. It stormed.

She had tits somewhere beneath the flannel of her shirt and the cotton of Bahçelievler escort bayan her tee but, like everything about her, functional and nature driven, they were working tits. They were for nursing babies not for men to fondle, suck, and adore. She’d have none of that, and best you not call her pretty because she would not believe you and had no place for that in her brain, anyway. Yeah, she liked fuckin’ and had no compunction about throwing you back on the hay to give you a good ride, if the mood struck, and so long as her chores were done and you were up for the task and worth her time. Yet, you had better make her cum when you fucked her or she’d say.

“You ain’t good for nothin’. You can’t even fuck me proper.”

She made me rise to the occasion when I planted my wood in her. I made it my moral duty and my manly obligation to make her cum and cum loudly so that she could be heard over the moo of the cows, the whiny of the horses, and the squeal of the pigs. When we remove our clothes, get down to it, and make love, we humans are just another barnyard animal, after all.

Yeah, she had a body beneath those worn clothes. Her pubic hair was as bushy as her blonde hair was long. When she put her hair down at night to brush it, it touched her ass, an ass that was so round and so firm from squatting to milk the cows, bending to pitch the hay, and running to chase after the pigs that you could make her ass the main course in the savory satisfaction of your sexual appetite. Although, she had never played tennis and would never waste her time chasing after furry, yellow balls to hit over a net with a racquet, she had the sinewy and muscled body of a tennis player.

“I don’t have time to play games, Freddie. Either you love me or you don’t. I never much had the need for games. Just say it straight what you mean.” She looked away chewing her wheat. “Either I be gettin’ along with you or without you.”

She was a woman who I could not play. Yet, for a novice at games, she saw through my game. What she said scared me. I did not want to lose her. She was special to me.

“I love you, Nellie.”

“Do you love me, Freddie,” she said without looking at me and removing the bit of wheat that she had been chewing, examining it and discarding it, and, then, replacing it with a new one “or do you just want to fuck me?” She looked at me with a face full of wisdom and she already knew my answer.

She gave new meaning to Meatloaf’s By the Dashboard Lights song, let me sleep on it and I’ll give you my answer in the morning. Oh, no, I’d have to tell her straight now.

“Yes, I love you. Now, take off those clothes so that I can fuck you,” I laughed but she did not. To her, there was nothing funny about love, about work, about duty, and about obligation. It was all serious stuff to her and all fodder for jokes to me.

We were so different, yet, so attracted to one another. When I was with her, I felt whole, protected, and safe knowing that there was nothing she did not know or could not remedy. I called her my pioneer woman and she called me her city boy.

She was from the country, Vermont, where the air is fresh, the sky blue, and the countryside green. She loved the outdoors where she was surrounded by grass, bugs, and tall trees. A farmer’s daughter, she had inherited her dad’s farmhouse and barn with cows and a corral full of horses. She was as practical as she was thrifty. The common sense that Escort bahçelievler ran through her blood challenged anyone with an advanced degree in book learning.

“Why buy new if the old one ain’t broke or can’t be fixed when it is broke,” she said about nearly everything, especially about her tractor that the sun had roasted the paint off decades earlier and her ’53 Ford pickup that any truck guy would love to restore.

Her uniform of old jeans, open flannel shirt with a t-shirt underneath, and shit kicking boots suited her. She looked you in the eye when she talked to you. She did not have to call me a city slicker because her posture towards me repeated it and reminded me of it, over and again. Especially, whenever I did not know things that were basic information to her, such as, names of plants, what they were for, or how to tell if your animal is sick and how to cure him. Intuitively, she had all of that information stored and ready at a moment’s notice. When, conversely, I am embarrassed to say that I needed the navigation system on my car just to find her farm and to find her.

She had that golden tan that you get from working outdoors that you cannot get from a bottle or a tanning salon. Unlike the city women with their beauty creams and sunscreens, she did not care about the wrinkles and lines. Like Hemingway’s character, Santiago, in the Old Man and The Sea, drawing his strength from the sea and from the fish that he was trying to capture, she drew her strength from the earth and from the bit of land that she toiled over. Like Katharine Hepburn in the movie On Golden Pond, the sun gave her face character. Nellie had farmer’s hands, rough, calloused, and strong from working the farm.

“If you’re gonna hold my hand, hold it. Don’t worry about breakin’ me,” she said when I took her hand to walk the pasture or the meadow or the rolling hill. Unaccustomed to clamping down on my girl’s hand, it took me time to get use to doing just that. I could only imagine the complaints from my next girlfriend if this relationship did not last. “Ow! You’re hurting my hand. Do you have to hold me so tight?”

My name is Freddie and I’m past my prime. I have affection for clean fingernails, Polo cologne, and Ralph Lauren clothes. They fit me. I am from the city, Boston, where the air is polluted, the sky smoggy, the water treated, and the city streets grey. I am content indoors. I rent an apartment with a small dog and have a Ford Mustang. Although I’m college educated, believe in God but do not attend church, and muscular working out regularly at the gym, I’m soft emotionally, spiritually, and physically compared to Nellie who fends for herself and lives off the land. Her strength of faith is all that she has, sometimes, and without that, she would have a longer and harder road to hoe.

My pallor pasty, my hands soft from working white collar jobs, I don’t like bugs. Matter of fact, I like fly swatters, Raid, bug lights, and bug screens. The last time I camped outdoors was when I was a Boy Scout and I could not wait to get home to watch television. Sure, I like the country but only to visit. My trees are tall buildings and my grass is the small parcel of land that the city reluctantly designates to the mob of office workers who gulp down their lunch before running back to work.

Now, because of Nellie Belle, Earth Day has new meaning. Earth Day is every day. In tune with nature, living on a farm with Nellie, has taught me to listen to myself because I was born with everything that I need to know to live, to survive, and to flourish on the Earth, today and tomorrow.

Save the planet, plant a tree, recycle, and walk instead of drive, and if we all did only that, maybe, our grandchildren would have another day on Earth to help save it, too.

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