In the meadow, the sun beats down onto our heads, each ray making the boys’ hair ever more golden. The tractor and baler rumble up and down the adjacent field and the boys stop curiously to watch. I am reminded of a moment from my childhood, perched with my brother on the roof of the old chicken house at the end of our garden, the juice of an ice lolly dripping down my chin, watching the baler in action in the long grass behind our house. That was a meadow in which every inch was familiar to me: along with my brother, and our friends from the house next door, I spent hour after hour there, crawling on my belly through the long grass, picking posies, poking sticks into the pond at the field’s end, conversing with the cows over the fence.
Growing tired of the tractor’s charms, my boys leap through the grass, delighted to find it to be almost taller than they are. The daisies dip their heads to them as they pass along the well-worn tracks that criss-cross the field. I look down at the tangle of wildflowers, and then up at the sky, soft clouds drifting slowly across a haze of blue. I listen to my children’s voices calling, bright notes above the hum of the tractor. I breathe in the scent of warm, newly mown hay and run my fingers gently through the daisies’ silken petals. I take the moment and hold it fast, just as I did as a child in that long ago meadow, far away.