I am thinking now of how it was, a long, long time ago in a different life, a different place and we were young of course. I am thinking about the mountains that were new to me. I am thinking about the farm and the way of life, the early mornings and the barn crews, the cleaning crews, kitchen details and the grogginess, which was me at this time. I was still foggy and still stuck in a strange pattern of thinking.
Nothing made sense to me. Not my life or my charges, the courts or the conditions of my sentence. I was living in a totally different world and almost speaking in a different language. Everything was painfully foreign to me. My choices were unattractive at best. The only other option to the farm was jail for one year, plus 90 days.
It seems the only way to break the mood is to put on the right music. I think a good road trip is the way to go.
Hop in, turn the key, put the car in drive and then head out on an empty road with nothing but the landscapes on either side. There are times when the static is too much. I think times like this is when we need to unplug the most.
Be advised, this is somewhat of a rant (but not really). By the time this post ends, I will have moved beyond the reason it began. Partly because I want to understand and partly because I believe we are all misunderstood; and partly because I want to improve, partly because I have memories of who I was and used to be an partly because I want to change the misperception of what we think or believe is the reason why I began this trip.
There are these ideas I have, which are important to me, but I keep them a secret from most people. These ideas are nothing more than tiny dreams of mine. I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. I have always had them, the dreams, I mean.
Of course, I have dreams. I’m alive, aren’t I? I believe anyone with a heart has dreams.
I was deep into my time at the farm. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to wake up in my own room or sleep late. I was living a dorm life in a farmhouse. The rules and regulations were never my favorite. Neither was the showering times or the bathrooms.
I have to admit it, like it or not, the replacement of time was me, away from my regular home in a quasi-institution.
People still amaze me. At least, I want them to. At least, I hope they will because above all I don’t ever want to lose my belief in amazement.
I want to be amazed because I still want to be surprised every once in a while. I want to be amazed and see new amazing things, which are not even so new at all.
Take a child for example. I want to see kids play, and I mean really play, not with a handheld device or something automated —instead, I want to watch a child play with a toy that actually needs human interaction.
I want to see kids in a playground, screaming as they slide down the slide or swing as high as they can on the swings. I want to see this and feel as if hope is still alive and not reprogrammed into an app on a cell phone.
To be honest, I have always had a fascination for this, and you, and the idea that there is a life out there, still waiting for me, no matter what my age might be. I fascinated with the idea that I am still able to change, to dream, to be and recreate.
I have this idea of me, driving along and turning off from a long, empty state road, way up in the Upstate Mountains.
The sky is as blue as it will ever be. There are scattered formations of white summery clouds, as bright as the mind could imagine, and the sun beams down across the mountainsides.
Between the before and after is a pivotal moment that changes us. This can change our lives and change our world. The pivotal moment between before and after is the catalyst of change that alters the way we see, think, or feel. This can happen frequently or infrequently. This can come up suddenly, often, daily, or once in a lifetime. The catalyst is not aligned with good or bad or even indifferent. The moment can be either or. A catalyst is something that creates change. Nothing more, nothing less.
I look around us and I see the path we’re on. I look around at our society. I see the people that we work with and live with and the faces we pass on a daily basis. I see the good and the bad, the tough and the easy. I see life and death and all that meet in-between. I look around at the basic and daily complications we all face.
It was late afternoon towards the end of August. The entire house was out in the fields for most of the day. The sun was hot and the air was thick. Our job was to gather the hay bales after the mowers cut and bundled the grass. I can’t say this was easy because it wasn’t.
I never did anything like this before. I never saw hay in the rough; and what I mean is I never saw freshly cut hay bales nor did I understand how heavy they could be because the grass was still wet and green. When I think of hay, I think of barns and blocks of tan straw. But that’s not what they look like when they’re fresh.