Fields of Gold

Samantha Brooks

© Copyright 2007 by Samantha Brooks


Photo of forest in moon light.

 This is a short memoir about a late birthday experience I had that showed me the potency of promises, and that truly things are better late than never.

 Blue has bled into the sunset, and night begins to darken our streets. The night is warm, and the darkness safe. Walking down the street my heart thrills a little as my Guide and I round the corner of the fire station, for he has brought me someplace magical.

 The night has fallen into watery blackness, and we are on a thin road that winds its way like a snake through the back fields, uncharted areas in my mind. A fox leaps in the tall grass to my left, and I make sounds of delight and wonder. The fox is small, dark, and skinny, running through the field in search of a meal. A kind smile from my Guide, and he leads me further behind the college, up onto a hill that rises out of the ground, a swelling on which we stand together. He tells me things here, things about his childhood, and as we grow closer, I feel the wind circling around, keeping us together and lending their forces to our embrace. They make it last while the brassy gold streetlights shine down upon our domain: a sheer, empty paradise.

 Something flutters to my right, and he grabs my shoulder, turning me toward the sound. A small ball of feathers lands not too far away, an owl. I look back at him, asking him for my happy birthday, but I am denied, he claims, until the night is over. The magic of the hill seeps into the breeze following us and brushing our clothing, so that it follows us wherever we may walk, keeping pace with our steps.

In the near distance, past speed bumps and soft conversation, I see a large stone circle, proof of the invisible aeronautical school that stands here, the one that I have never seen. I climb into the circle, and see my dark backyard from a circle of heavy light. It is beautiful in its nighttime clothing, and for a moment I reflect on how lucky I am to live in a place of such grandeur as this, but finally I hop back down to Earth. My Guide has disappeared. Prowling around the side of the white ring, I see a shadow standing still, out of place, and I know I’ve found him. A short, masculine laugh, and he leads me farther down the path.

We pass so many things tonight, and Night strides along side us, making sure that we are enjoying her version of the world. The fields that had previously just been the fields were now a Kingdom of streetlights and dark bleachers, a realm of cool winds and magical thoughts, one where I am who I want to be, and I am with him. We see sporting equipment that turns into mountain ranges, fallen light posts that are logs across the River of Grass, stumps that signify tiny kingdoms of people that don’t belong to our world.

I follow him still, walking behind his footsteps in blind trust only holding onto the hand of Faith and Promise. The ground slopes up, and we’re on a hill of sparse grass that seems like tufts of dried gold. On the side of the hill we sit, watching the ocean of asphalt and painted lines host a sunset of the streetlights above. The tarnished gold color spills down onto the rough surface, making it glimmer as through there was diamond powder brushed onto the parking lot, purely for aesthetic purposes.

Talk between us is vague now, only referring to tonight and to the things we have seen. Above us, the charcoal clouds float against the night sky, tinted orange by the lights that illuminate the asphalt ocean. My Guide lies down in the dried gold grass, and I lay next to him, my head on his chest. Commenting on his heartbeat, we affirm that he’s alive, and silence falls again. I love listening to someone live. I feel his torso rise and fall with the streams of breath and I breathe in a scent that has nothing to do with the nature surrounding us. Chaotic thoughts settle into a feeling of contentment, an exchanging of affections, and finally our breathing synchronizes.

Our world becomes very small in that moment, lying on the beach hill of dried gold, in front of the ocean of sparkling asphalt. Things are quiet, and I remember that words aren’t always needed to convey a thought or feeling. Actions can do it all by themselves, and words are only needed for affirmation.

His hands smooth over my back and as I see him smile, I realize that making yourself happy is actually much harder than it sounds. One of humanity’s tragic flaws is that we tend to put a lot of our happiness in other people. If we took better care of each other, made each other happier, we might actually be on our way to better lives.

Tonight it’s just me and him, two quiet people and one silenced world. Simple as it should be, taking care of each other’s happiness.

I am a young author of two novels, several short stories and poems, and more recently, prose poetry. The most inspirational place I ever visited was New Mexico, and I don't believe in writer's block. I also have fun taking my memories and making them poetically pleasing.

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