Traveling East (Along Prairie Highways)

Do you remember when we were young and free from concerns of time and place, and when we would encounter eternal moments by chance? We would drive east along prairie highways that rolled and snaked through broad meadows of tall bleached corn stalks, fenced by wooded domes and moated by crumbling gullies.tallgrassoctober

It was during the literal hour our folks taught us to call evening. Behind us, the retiring sun reddened every shiny facet of flora that had invisibly reflected the sunlight at noon. Now it gave creation a Sleepy Hollow cast, and we sped through together, alone, without fear, intent on capturing the treasured moment forever. But we envied Katrina Van Tassel her realm and longed to sample apple dumplings in their dappled syrup that ran down our chins. If we stopped, we would don sweaters and hold one another close as the spin of the earth stole our golden moment, though it remained in our memories.

Today I uncovered those memories by chance and glimpsed again those gilded fields when I felt the first crisp air of autumn rush by my face, and felt the longing to drive east again with you.

  • mzzkelly

    The memory factor of this reminds me of the first portion in Buechner’s memoir. Was it called “before time”?

  • You have a good “memory” yourself. It was called “Once below a time,” a play on Once Upon a Time. And thus…we return to a discussion of fairy tales. But my contemplative memory is not a fairy tale, of course.

  • ACR

    Great eloquent post. 🙂 made me start thinking of those wonderful carefee childhood memories playing outside in the country, exploring the land, seeing the setting and rising sun on the porch.

  • Thank you. That is exactly what it was meant to evoke. You have some stories of your own to share, and I happen to know you are a good writer.

  • The squalor of my life often evokes #2. You have made me hungry for #1. Thank you for interacting with my stuff.

  • You could almost wander Sleepy Hollow not in your imagination! Thanks for reading–I am trying to post more (or wither away!).

  • Lindsey Largen

    Oh I default to #2 all too often. Though I am grateful that higher callings and deeper longings are making that less appealing these days (and, perhaps, a lack of interesting television series). Thanks for writing. I so enjoy reading your thoughts. I especially enjoy the fact that I sometimes have to right-click thesaurus/dictionary…just to make sure 🙂 i.e. curmudgeon.

  • Joanna

    I was hooked from the first line. It awakened in me a desire to ease back into that childlike way of embracing the wonder of a moment. Also, I’d like to get in on that grilled cheese action…

  • Have you gotten away from wonder? I am glad this can bring back a reminder. So much better to bask in the wonder of the world’s beauty, particularly because there is so much brokenness at the same time. And…have you ever had a grilled cheese that is first assembled, then dipped in French bread batter and fried on both sides until a golden brown? It makes the tomato soup taste even better!

  • Hmm…if I remember rightly you are a writer also. I think you underestimate yourself as well: Your pulchritude is matched by your erudition.