A fleeting glimpse of a child’s endless summer.
The buzz of a fly did it. Took me back to an endless summer of sunshine, imagination, and explorations of the farmyard jungle. My whole body melted into the experience of it. I was seven again, breathing it in – the hot summer sun, the dark welcoming shade, tall grass nodding in a puff of searing breeze, a forest of green corn.
In front of me, armed with needle-sharp thorns, a mass of wild raspberry bushes clung to an old wall. Tucked behind green leaves and barbed stems, the red and purple gems of flavour beckoned me. Never mind the danger to finger and wrist. I moved my hands slowly, stopping when a thorn pressed into my skin, before it pierced. While I plucked berries for my tiny basket, sweat beaded on my forehead and arms, my shirt already damp. Time stood still. Flies buzzed past hanging loud in the heat. Cicadas screeched background noise. The humid air was heavy with hot corn – I could smell it growing, stretching to the sun as I stood there. A tantalizing berry found it’s way to my mouth, exploding sweetness against my tongue. My dog, panting in the heat, rustled through the waist-high grass to give my bare leg a cool, sloppy nudge before wandering again.
I put down my basket and stepped back, peering from one side then the other into the dense prickly mass. The ripest were picked clean, well done. But habits are hard to break, no matter where we are, and I checked my watch. Time began to tick again, forcing my seven year old self to evaporate in the heat, wisping away the utter peace of those precious moments.