ONE SUMMER AND THE MORNING AIR
How easy it is to let the time slip by as though you're 18 and have little to do with it. The older you get, the faster it glides, but with age comes perspective. So that if you've been paying some attention all these years, you can ignore the pace of time and focus more on its depths, where so many treasures are.
Unless of course that all becomes moot because at the moment one happens to have a house full of preteen granddaughters, which pretty much lifts one out of time's inviting deeps into the broad and shining shallows of ultrayouth, which is where I've recently been spending time like a senior kid with the Trio of Brio, while their mother is visiting the US. Thus, I've been doing physical labor at a child's pace, which goes so sloooowly to me, but still sweatful, and going thence to Little Pine Beach to spend days or was it hours in the cool blue waters, or frolicking under the garden hose, spraying water up among the overhead leaves of the chestnut tree, or making a jacuzzi out of the wheelbarrow for entire afternoons and so forth, which is why I haven't thought too deeply about the rice harvest.
Then this morning as I was freewheeling down the mountain through the dawning sunlight, no breeze but that caused by my gliding quietly through the broad fields of nodding rice now almost a meter high, the tall, heavying rice heads now leaning over the tops of the string fences as though peeking into the road... My mind went freewheeling too, realizing that soon all this vigorous beauty will be cut to the ground and harvested, winnowed into big bags and sold or stored away for winter, as it has always been. But none of that mattered today, these green summer lives had been waiting all night for the morning sun and now it was here, and in the gift of that golden warmth the whole mountainside of rice grains began to live its day.
Thus into the warmed air issued a fragrance as rich as butter, rich as oils, the perfume of true wealth, essence worth more than all the rest: the fragrance of life itself living, a joy that filled the ready morning air with the contented sigh of an entire amber mountainside of rice being fully morningly alive; it was a joy that we alive are all familiar with: it was the joy of a fine occasion. It was a big mountain morning party, and I was a welcome guest.
Got me to the station, got me to the train, got me to the office, got me to work, but mainly stayed at the party. The lucky Brio Trio spent the whole day right in the middle of it. Maybe when they're older they’ll remember that day back then, when they were kids one summer and the morning air...