I went to Meg’s track meet today and ended up helping judge/measure the long and triple jump. That meant that I was down on the old field, not the 100 gillion dollar field that rivals the Dallas Cowboys’. The old field was grass, not Bermuda or Zoysia or anything specifically planted for the purpose of our events. It was just good, freely growing grass. And along the edge of it, was a wild wood.
The day was heavy, the air seemed especially so, with a cool humidity that hung about, cloud-like. But Spring cried out through it, with the crisp, sweet, high and bright smells of life gaining ground. Green perfumed the air. All manner of plants were pushing up powerfully, taking their place for the long haul of summer. Just under the falling stands, grew volunteer beets, probably first planted 50 years ago and wild spring greens. There was a lacy carpet of white flowers astride blood-letting stems and leaves – blackberries.
The wood about us seemed an old one, long undisturbed saved for a few boys’ wanderings with bb guns. The trees are larger than they are now allowed to grow in our suburbia. The steepness of the property probably protected it and its trees from the developers. It was my kind of wood.
I wandered ( as I am want to do) the periphery and dreamed of following those signs and sirens of life on in. I really thought about vacating my volunteer post, (I truly volunteered, I was not assigned the duties that I took up) to make my way across the berries, and down the tangle, to the stand of oaks just beyond the greening vines. I was not dressed for such, I was surrounded by children, not born of the woods like me, and parents who would have frowned. But that did not dissuade me. Only the need of the volunteered parents ( I have been there) did so. So, I watched the line and the landings and decided that, next time, I would dress to go in and meet up with what has too long been alone.
Sarah practices soccer on that field from time to time. When she does, her Mama will don her best wood-walking boots and take or make a trail or two to know better what called to me, “Friend!”