|A typical summer evening in 1984.|
One summer evening, when the hills made undulating shadows fall across the meadow, I followed our cat into the apple orchard. My back toward the house and my face toward the darkening forest, I imagined myself an orphan, miles from home, following this cat as my guide. I trudged up the hill behind him, the breeze quickening, and a tingle of danger swirling around my insides. The cat leapt up a tree and I huddled at its base, ready to sleep there. I started wondering how cold it would get in the night, if the cat would leave without me, if....and just when my imagination started to get the best of me, I turned around to the winking lights of the farmhouse, and saw the outline of my brother against the lights, swinging the milk bucket in his hands. "Phe," he shouted, breaking my reverie, "Mama says it's time for dinner."
I know the yearning has gotten especially poignant because I want to share this with my daughter. I want her to see cows and sheep and wide open spaces everyday. I want her swimming pool to be a fountain in a pasture, and I want to feed her cream that tastes like flowers.