I have run through the fields
The light was filtering down through the leaves and creating the most incredible patterns on the grass between the rows of apple trees in the orchard. Row after row of trees, and passing between them was like moving between the columns of some great arboreal cathedral. Each one a long sanctuary of light and scent and breeze.
I was six, and I knew that I could run forever and never reach the end of these rows of trees. I couldnâ€™t see the end, I didnâ€™t even know if there was an end. They went on beyond eyesight, and sound, and even time.
If I went to my left far enough, across the rows of trees instead of down them, I could find the cliff. The great edge of the world. Well, at least to my mind anyway. There, where the Columbia River had carved a great scar into the very foundation of the world, I could look out across the valley and see the cliff on the other side; and beyond it, an orchard up on itâ€™s high ridge exactly like the one I was standing in. Like some kind of parallel world separated by thousands of feet of empty space.
I turned back towards the farmhouse up the rows of trees above me, spread my arms out wide, and ran. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, my body leaning into the wind, the air rushing past my ears and flowing between my outstretched fingers.
And then I crashed, giggling and deliriously happy, into a patch of tall grass and last autumnâ€™s leaves.
â€œNicky, what on earth are you doing?â€ asked my cousin from the seat of his motorcycle.
â€œIâ€™m catching sunbeams!â€ I squealed in reply, still giggling more than breathing.
â€œWell come over here and Iâ€™ll give you a ride. Weâ€™ll catch them faster this way.â€
And we did.
[Word Count: 320]
“We’ll catch them faster this way.” Love it.
Thanks, this is one of my fondest memories. It’s also where my love of motorcycles comes from.
That’s a beautiful image.
My home area was heavily forested, so a “field” of more than about ten acres was a rarity. When I think of a field, I think of the one that used to be beside my house – about an acre, leading uphill to the gravel road – and about running through it, the wheat straw or tall grass whipping at my legs and arms.
On a fall day like today, it’s remarkably easy to remember.
This is why I think of wind, and slanting sunlight, and speed in my face when I think of motorcycles. That afternoon my cousin took me all across the hills and hollows of East Wenatchee on his Kawasaki Ninja. I’m sure we never went over 50 or 60 mph…but when you’re six and straddling the gas tank, with the wind full in your face, it feels like Warp 10 and time dilates around you.
He died of cancer about seventeen years after that sunny afternoon…more than a decade ago now. On some sunny days with a gentle breeze, I miss him so much I can barely breathe.