Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting Lost in the Tall Grass

(Please click on the thumbnail to see the larger version)

The Husband and I both love the grasses that grow in our fields. Including the period when we were looking for a place and before we moved here in August, we have now seen the fields in each of the seasons. I can’t decide which is my favorite time to admire them. We enjoy gazing at the meadow from the windows in the living room. (Yes, I know these rooms are now called “great rooms”. I don’t think I can ever get used to that phrase. Ours is destined to be down-graded to a good old-fashioned “living room”. Well, at least I am a little past calling it the parlor.) I love wading through the grass to head for the hiking trail, or the trees at the edge of our place, or just wandering about in it and getting down low to look into it, rather than over it. In some places, I don’t have to get down very low to accomplish that point of view.

While looking at the photo above, it struck me why I may be so captivated by the simple grasses. A memory flashed into my mind—a memory as sharp in intensity as if it were from yesterday, but made as deliciously hazy by time as some parts of the image.

When I was very young— probably about four years old, my father took a short-term job in northern Louisiana. We were new in the neighborhood and I was just beginning to develop a keen curiosity about my surroundings, a longing for independence, and a taste for adventure—a potentially dangerous cocktail of tastes for a four-year-old.

One day, while we were very new to the area, my mother and I walked a short distance to meet a neighbor. I remember I enjoyed immensely both the walk and the lady we met. I’m not certain why meeting the lady was so special, but I suspect she gave me a great deal of attention—possibly fed me cookies, who knows. I do recall that the walk was wonderful partly because it included a stretch down a narrow path through a field of grass so high that I, of course, could not see over it. The yellow grass swaying around me hid me from the rest of the world and made me feel that I was in a special, secret, and magical land made just for me and one where adventure waited around every curve.

It turns out that I enjoyed the visit and the journey so much, I decided the next day to repeat it—alone. I didn’t think it necessary to share my plans with anyone. I just struck out across our tiny yard and along the narrow path. Of course, my young mother was frightened within an inch of her life when she discovered that I had disappeared. But, up until the time she found me, I had a simply marvelous time (the getting caught part I don’t remember well—only that it was unpleasant) and I suppose I have never forgotten the enchantment of getting lost in the shimmering golden grasses, luminous in the afternoon light.


  1. A perfectly delightful story, Anita! I can see why you love the grasses so much.

    Memory is a wonderful thing. I would imagine that the yard was not very big, nor the grass very high, but to a 4 year-old, it could be heaven.

    I love meadows, too! They are great places to take macro lenses, find insects, and enjoy slow shutter speeds and lazy breezes.

    And now, a Haiku for you!

    Step Into the grass
    Held in Nature's secret grasp
    My own special place

  2. Paul - Your haiku is very special. Wow! I will type my fingers raw attempting to "win" another haiku. Seriously, I hope you will write more, because this is yet another art at which you excel.

    I am delighted that you enjoyed my story. I agree that the yard was tiny, indeed,and the grass wasn't very high. Furthermore, I am fairly certain that the path wasn't very long. Perspective is everything.

  3. You are welcome. I don't know if they are good or bad, the Haikus, but that you appreciate it is more than enough. :-)

    I love my memories, too ... even though I know them to be highly inaccurate, they are inaccurate in the sweetest ways.

  4. That is a sweet memory, Anita. Thank you for sharing the story!

    And your photograph has such nice depth and texture, I think I can reach into the monitor and feel the grass! I love the subtle yet rich color variants in a narrow part of the spectrum.

  5. Amy - I am so glad that you enjoyed the memory. Lately, I have become more interested in sharing stories about my past. (Hmmm. The old folks telling stories about the good ol' days.)

    Your comments regarding depth and texture were most welcome. These are areas, in particular, where I have felt I desperately needed to grow. Also, I have been much more aware, recently, of narrow color palettes. Thanks for picking up on some things I am concentrating on.


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