The sun was a white burst without shape in the sky, and crickets sang all around, and the green of the plants was pale, and bees and bugs hummed away minding their own business all about. A path led from one street to the church parking lot and to the other street a block away – not an alley or any straight path built by man, just a path worn by child feet meandering from here to there looking for beetles or bottle caps or any other such wonder as might be found.
It was the times when the only agenda was to discover what’s out there, to explore what there was to explore, and if nothing came of today’s exploration, no matter, because there would be more exploration and more discovery tomorrow. No greater good because this was as great as could be. And it WAS good – or not – I don’t recall judgments being made.
The field is gone now. What would you expect? It’s 60 years later. Those who were once 5 years old and exploring have blazed through careers to retirement, and those who were 35 and moms are loving their great-grandchildren or they are gone, and those who were 65 and retiring are long ago at rest, and this generation of bees and bugs is somewhere else.
Somewhere else, then, a little girl or boy runs across a field alive with crickets and buzzing noises and marvels at a butterfly in wonder, and discoveries are made all over again in a circle old as time – although, time never ages, does it? And 60 years from now, will the child’s field be paved over and forgotten? Or will she, sitting with her pen and/or tablet, describe a memory with words that echo through the centuries and touch a heart that sees the pale green field, and a child running, all over again?
My field was alongside a Methodist church, and the town was Little Falls, New Jersey, but the reader sees it with different eyes and recollections, so it could be anywhere that crickets sing and beetles leap and bees hum about, a green oasis from the mad covering we called civilization.