Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I don't remember how old I was, probably various ages between eight and thirteen. Sometimes, when I needed to get away by myself, I walked to the southwest corner of our 4.5 acre Illinois property, where our field of clover and alfalfa met two adjacent cornfields. Between the cornfields, a ridge of earth and long grasses marked the boundary.

By July, I could disappear between the fields, hidden by cornstalks, and walk what seemed like a mile to another confluence of hedgerows--a small patch of meadowy-soft tall grasses, and an old oak or hickory shading part of it. Seems like on at least one occasion, I found the grass beneath that tree matted neatly down--a deer's bed. I sat in my own spot of grass beneath the tree with a sandwich, a book, and a journal, and let time simply pass.

I don't think I fully appreciated that place, or I would have gone more often. I remember noting from season to season, the hedgerow seemed to get narrower, a few more inches here and there plowed under by the farmers on either side. I became afraid of foxes, coyotes, or worse, ticks. At some point all my experience with nature became clouded with the knowledge and worry of things out to get me--the knowledge of good and evil, and I let it chase me out of the garden.

And now I wish I could go back--that probably goes without saying. I regret not living there more, not inhabiting that nook in the fields more frequently. I lived in the house there for ten years before going to college. I lived there two more summers during. But I didn't live in the land enough, while it was available to me. Nothing that private is available to me anymore. But it doesn't have to stay that way.


  1. Sarah,
    This is a beautiful story. Makes me sad to know how much you miss the outdoors here. This June you will have to go spend some time there again, with a sandwich, a book and your journal. Maybe, just maybe you can find a spot of matted grass where a deer slept.

  2. I do plan on revisiting that spot! Keeping in mind it probably isn't the same since I last visited it. But I'll go explore anyway.

  3. I had a tree by the lake :) I could show you sometime if you like.

  4. @chambanachik Awww, thanks. :)

    @Nicole, I would love to see your tree by the lake! I haven't explored the PTC much.