As I received scarcely any consideration at home, there would be a genuinely fantastic surprise waiting for me when my family moved to Stedman, North Carolina.
Soon, after this initially dreaded move to Stedman, I discovered I had both an aunt, uncle and two cousins living within walking distance. The magical place they inhabited was part of an interesting town called Autryville, North Carolina. At the time it was a tiny city of dirt roads, countless woods to explore and the enchanting sounds of the vocal, night-time whip-poor-wills.
My Aunt was a significant influence in my young years in so many ways, and to me, she was undeniably one of the most important persons in my life when it came to my spirituality.
I was completely resolute that My Aunt L was the closest thing I had ever met to an angel on earth. As I had remembered reading in my Bible, as a little girl, that we could meet angels while on earth and never even know it.
Aunt L didn’t smoke, drink, curse or yell. She was a God fearing woman that was for sure, and her and I became best friends very quickly.
There was a pond on my aunt and uncle’s property, and its mere presence so unleashed my ferocious inventiveness. All sorts of creatures including mermaids, fairies, and treacherous snakes inhabited the pond and the countless number of trees which surrounded it.
On the blessed days I was left in my Auntie’s charge, I would make my way down to the mystifying pond before the sun came up. I took only my cane pole, a small white cardboard container of worms, a line used to place any out-smarted fish on, and a large bright red bobber.
Then I would pick the largest oak that would provide me with lots of shelter from the sun when it decided to grace the day with its presence. I would put my worms close by and lean my head on the thick bark of the sturdy and magnificent trunk of the giant oak. Then with a truly peaceful sigh I would throw out my line with the bright red bobber and begin to watch, wait and dream.
Somehow I knew these were gifts My God had bestowed upon me. Not that I deserved them because I was not a good child. However, I would still bathe myself in the beauty around me as the sun began to shine and the crickets and other creatures began to bring forth their unimpeded virtuoso of music!
Within just an hour or two I would have at least six brim which were not quite as big as my hand. Even so, my Aunt L would still scale them, cut off their heads, clean them and cook my morning catch for my breakfast.