Field Dreams

Fields draw wide circles around the soul…rolling, flat, earthy, brown, black, golden, green…

Sometimes I dream of fields. That happens when you grew up as I did, a country kid. Somehow life took me as it does so many of us and plunked me down amidst crouching, noisy, gritty hubs of cities. Stuck in shoebox spaces lined with hard pavement. I liked the cities but they got to me too. No texture. So I dreamed of fields. Wide open spaces. I longed for getaways to nowhere. I dreamed of running away. I needed to breathe again. Fields. They remind me how life seems to have planted a bit of a wanderer inside everyone of us. Somewhere along life’s way we all long for space to roam. I sometimes feel fields tugging at me like an ocean’s undertow.  Wide stretches of earth reaching out to me. No fences.  The odd tree barrier reminding me there’s a horizon. Fields dusty and windblown. Fields that let me drink life from the endless bowl of sky.

What got me thinking this way again was a country drive I took last week. Harvest time. The weather was heavenly. Not a cloud for miles. Clouds of dust sprouted up here and there where farmers cleared crops. A leisurely stop along the way. And as we drove, I kept staring off into the fields, dreaming…other times and places.

Childhood days. Growing up in a small town. Hard toil was the norm. Men and women shouting. Gales of laughter winging on wind as freewheeling as seagulls diving and swooping for a handout. Tumbling grain threshed and sliding silvery gold into a steel silo at my grandma’s farm. Rocks rolling underfoot. Stumbling, earthy, golden moments stuck in my throat and refreshed by icy gulps of well water. My brother and I always found time to sneak under the grain shute as it poured out in a heap. Then we got shoo’d away, our palms sweaty, our pockets full of wheat. We chomped the grain like it was Wrigley’s chewing gum.

Fields are for seeding. Fields harvest life. Fields surround us, even when we forget about them as we hunker down in cities like sailors aboard ship on stormy seas. Fields fill us up and give us space. Fields hem us in without borders. They know how to embrace and how to let us go. Fields are freeing places. They promise something…and always deliver. Fields let us dream again.

copyright 2011 S. Michaels

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