One of my earliest memories takes place in our barn. It was built when I was about two and I do recall one scene of it being built. It was a great place, 100 feet long north to south with the north end the closest to the house, 26 feet high at its peak with a huge hayloft.
But this memory takes place when I was three.
I was in the barn one afternoon. I went there often whether anyone else was there or not because it was a great place.
I am standing by the north end near a door to a room dad had intended to use for a chop bin. It had a window that was a simple opening like a door. It remained closed.
The boards on the barn wall are bare though in my mind I see whitewash. I think there was some partial paint, but I don't know.
What I do know is I was not alone.
Standing in front of me is a tall being. I get the feeling of female, but I honestly cannot say. She has high cheekbones, pale skin, and is wearing a white robe with wide sleeves. Out the sleeve end is a thin arm ending in slender, long fingers.
Her pale skin, and in my memory the white robe she wears, glows white gold.
She reaches past me, above my head. In her hand she holds a thick grease pencil, such as we used to mark the pigs that were ready for market.
She is drawing on the boards by the door to the never-used room.
I am agitated. I do not want this.
The memory ends with me saying, "You don't have to do that. I'll remember."
I have the feeling I used to see this being often.
I have not seen her since that day and neither have I ever forgotten that scene.
And neither have I forgotten what she drew on the barn wall. I used to see it when I went in the barn. It scared me.
She drew a clown.
I was terrified to walk by it as I knew it would jump out and get me.
If I went in the barn with dad I made sure he was between the clown and me.
If I went in alone and dad was in the barn I edged as close as possible to the opposite side. I kept my eyes on the clown.
If there was no one in the barn and I wanted to go up to the hayloft to sit in the sun, as I often did, I walked around outside to the south end of the barn where the stairs were. I would not go past that clown by myself.
He, I get the feeling of male from it, did not always appear.
I recall one day walking in the barn, seeing him, and wondering "Why doesn't daddy paint over that clown?"
I made up my mind to ask him to do it. I walked perhaps 30 feet to where dad was cleaning out a pig pen and forgot.
I'd remember from time to time, but never in time to ask him to do it.
I have photos of where I think the clown ought to be.
There is only bare board.
I told the family once about it and it was suggested it was a dream.
It is real.
I have never forgotten the being who used to visit me when I was very young. One day she told me she could not come to me anymore. She left the clown for me to remember.
I wish I remembered what it meant.
I may have written about this before. If so, I apologize for the repeat.
Michael Martin Murphey - Red River Valley
7 hours ago