I’m in the midst of a field, lush green and yellow grasses rippling around me, a pond talking to the spring breeze. There are trees in the distance, and capping those, mountains covered in snow still falling fresh. Behind me unseen is the ocean; I don’t turn to know this – can’t, in fact – but the smell of the salt air tells the secret.
And from somewhere comes music, familiar lyrics and music drifting quietly:
“I lie awake
Watching your shoulders
Move so softly as you breathe”
Why am I looking for speakers in the tall grass? I know they’re not there — and even if they were, what would power them? — but I search anyway. And as I continue, kicking through the undergrowth with prodding feet and swimming through the field, a bizarre and tangled breast-stroke, the music continues:
“With every breath
You’re growing older
But that is fine if you’re with me”
I know the song, but I can’t name it for the life of me. And somehow I know that that is the key to all of this — the field, the mountains, the trees, the unseen ocean. So my search for the speakers continues, because that’s how I’ll remember.
I pause and look skyward, to find that the blazing and brilliant sun has been replaced by an angry black void of a cloud. I’ve never seen a cloud come in so quickly — nor one that absorbed the light, not just blocking the sun but somehow sucking up every bit of the world around it. And I think to myself, or maybe even say aloud, that I should be afraid, scared to death — but I’m not. And there’s a detached curiosity with that realization, like maybe I’ve become a robot, replaced with metal and plastic and circuit boards when the sun was being buried.
“The ray of dawn
Plays on your eyelids
A sleeping beauty dressed in sun”
Which is a funny line, since the sun is hiding. But it’s not so funny, because I’ve come upon a clearing in the field. This is the center of the world, something inside says. The absolute middle of my life. The ground is charred black, as though a bomb had detonated away the grasses in a perfect circle. And what’s not so funny about the music is that there’s a bed in the middle of all of this, bathed in a single beam of sunlight, the covers writhing in motion as the girl underneath rolls over to face me, staring holes in my heart through her closed eyes.
“I believe this heart of mine when it tells my eyes
That this is beauty
I believe this heart of mine when it tells my mind
That this is reason”
As the music crescendos, building to a heartbreaking climax, I roll over, no longer or never in a field or even outside, but now in my own bed, surrounded by cats of a million owners. And I close my eyes, content to return to sleep, having had my glimpse of her for the day. I shift my legs, adjusting to the right sleeping position, and I feel an arm, whisper-light, the featherless wing of an angel, and the arm falls sweetly across my chest, embracing me with all the power of night.
“I believe this heart of mine when it cries at time
That this is forever
I believe this heart of mine when it tells the skies
That this is the face of God”
And I feel her head nestle softly against my back, her hair bushing my shoulder blade, tickling, and I see through the window that the ocean is closer than I realized, and I wonder why the men trimming the fields are still at work. It’s Sunday, and life is too wonderful to be working.