My boots made a soft sound on the earth as I trudged through the long grass of the field. I could just see my dog a few feet in front sniffing around in the undergrowth. It was dark and there was no moon up ahead in the overcast sky. My eyes were adjusting and I could make out on the horizon the top of the hill which arched and joined the shadowed border of trees on the far side of the field. It was quiet but not silent. Crickets chirped, the branches creaked as the wind blew through the rustling leaves and out into the vast expanse of space above.
I tilted my head back and inhaled a deep breath, my chest inflated. Then I exhaled through pursed lips and with it came all the bad feeling that had accumulated since my last walk. I felt eternal. I carried on up the hill, looking out across the grid that was many other fields and woodlands, stretching out forever. There was a glow of artificial, orange light coming from the town that polluted the sky, rising up and illuminating the dense cloud cover. The wind turbine in the distance was silhouetted in this glow, making it appear even more imposing. I looked around and noticed more of these patches of light that bled into the sky, orange at first, then purple and finally blue as it faded into the sky.
When I got to the top I stood there and took in my surroundings. The dog was scuffling around in the bracken of the dead wood pile and I could see an old cider can glinting through leaves. I was reminded of my after-prom party, having all those people over to celebrate the end of school – thirty five in all. We had ventured out of the garden in seek of a thrill. I then thought back further to my first house party; my sixteenth and the small group of friends who I’d surround myself with. I realised that it wasn’t I who was eternal, it was the memories and the nostalgia didn’t make me feel so good about myself anymore. It only hurt.
I carried on walking, this time through the crops of the field that bordered this one. The plants stood up to my shoulders. I found a tractor track that cut through the field like a scar, the plants that grew here were dark and wilted. It wound through the earth like a snake. Following it, I watched as the dog trotted in and out of the crops on either side of the track. I walked around the corner and the track ended at the entrance of a field contained on all sides by towering trees. I would have to make my own way from here.
I looked out over the contours of the land that expanded out to the edge where the sky met the earth. There were clusters of trees, and little ditches were rivers flowed. That was where I wanted to be. I continued on…