What boy my age didn’t dream of fleeing the well-tended lawn and lamp-lit street for the untamed wilderness, where grand adventure awaited on the other side of the horizon, where the stars burned undimmed in the velvet sky above his head and the virgin ground lay untrodden beneath his feet?
My first favourite book was Are You My Mother? A picture book about a lost bird. After that my favourites changed almost yearly. I loved everything by Roald Dahl, but my favourite was probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A librarian gave me a first edition of that book, which I treasure.
The spring rains woke the dormant tillers, and bright green shoots sprang from the moist earth and rose like sleepers stretching after a long nap. As spring gave way to summer, the bright green stalks darkened, became tan, turned golden brown. The days grew long and hot. Thick towers of swirling black clouds brought rain, and the brown stems glistened in the perpetual twilight that dwelled beneath the canopy. The wheat rose and the ripening heads bent in the prairie wind, a rippling curtain, an endless, undulating sea that stretched to the horizon.
Perhaps that is our doom, our human curse, to never really know one another. We erect edifices in our minds about the flimsy framework of word and deed, mere totems of the true person, who, like the gods to whom the temples were built, remains hidden. We understand our own construct; we know our own theory; we love our own fabrication. Still . . . does the artifice of our affection make our love any less real?
When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face--the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up--when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can't get up and you can't give up either, here's what you do: Crawl.