The station wagon with faux wood paneling,

The memory of sliding from the car seat down to the wild grasses,

The size I was then,

My feet already wincing at the briars and sharp hidden things

Waiting for me to step down and run painfully for the river.

Summer country days smelled like hot grass cooking in the sun,

They smelled a bit like low tide and old fish washed up on the beach,

And honeysuckle tangled in massive nests where the blackberries grew.

I remember like an old Polaroid, my little self, running wild along the shore line

Watching crabs molt, and tides rise and fall, and digging for Indian artifacts in the freshly plowed fields.

Meals were made from the land; tomatoes, corn on the cob, freshly steamed crabs we had caught in wire pots, and blackberry pie.

The sunset over the tree line as the crickets and frogs rose up in a chorus of celebration for another day’s passage.

I remember how time was lost to the rhythm of all that carried us from our cool sheets in the morning

to the hammock in late afternoon when my brown tired legs could run or swim no more

and all the adventuring that happened in between.

It is the season of the child in us all, like none of the others.

This is what we are born into and long for most, freedom.

Freedom that’s not necessarily something fought for, or clung to, or any action at all.

For in that we lose its essential nature, for freedom is an undefinable experience.

Ask your little self if they are tired of this burdened life and would like to come out and play.

Truly, be silly and spontaneous, be barefoot and running, be arms outstretched to jump into cool water

And dive down where the oysters sleep and the crabs crawl in the murky waters of the river.

The great blue heron, and the osprey owned those waters and I,

I learned there on those summer days what reverence meant,

And that to walk on this earth I should walk gently.