I take another breath. The soft smell of cut grass and hot summer air mixes into a soothing vapour and I breathe it in greedily. Silence is luxurious, with only the sound of far-off birds to disturb me. I lay back, letting my hands entangle with the tall grass I lie in. Somewhere distant there are tidy gardens and fields, neat grass, each strand ten centimetres high, each dandelion in place.
Not here. This is the most free place in the whole world. Where sun, grass, blue sky and sweet scents blend into one marrage of calm.
Here I am fine. Perfect. Loved by mother nature herself.
Slipping further into the cool fingers of the grass I sigh, bringing one palm to veil my eyes from the bright sunshine I have waited so long to feel. There is a perfect stillness all around me, not the calm before the storm, no, this is a stillness which soothes the heart and the mind. It mixes with your blood stream like a friendly drug - does that sound ridiculous? That's just how it feels.
I have come to this place for years.
As far as my memory stretches I ahave saught solace in the way the grass moves against my skin, in the dancing daisy's and in the shading oak trees above me.
I have revelled in the allowness for so long now that I am sure should I ever find this place inhabited it should break me. Yet, I find myself imagining him here. The way that he moves so slowly, so gracefully, the way that his deep understanding eyes are forever searching, forever taking in and forever appreciative.
He would understand this place.
He would not see it as a long-abandoned picnic spot in the middle of the British country side.
No, he would see it as the cocoon of imagination it has become for me. He would understand that each daisy that dances forwards from the dirt in the spring is a bud of hope; there in spirit through winter. He would know that this place was different to any other orchard, field or valley.
This place held all of my memories, even those which had happened else where.
I closed my eyes, one pearl falling from my right eye. Perhaps, however, it was too late? He had gone and though everyone said he would be back, the hum of fighter planes and the terrifying shells punctured my thoughts.
Constant doubt-bringers, reminders of the men who fell...the men who never returned.
I shake my head, my whispy brown hair unfurling from it's tight plaits even more and mingling with the cool grass. My skirt is creased and barely covers my knees, but this is all part of the tradition. For all I am older, for all I have more pride, more to fear, more to hide, I still lay there, feeling part of nature. Feeling as though at any moment I might blend into the cool grass.
In fact, I would stay there forever, if it weren't for the life back at the village. Not my own life, my mothers.
Macey Jane Lawson. Pillar of the community and general busy-body. I love her for all her capabilities to never allow you a moments peace. She hasn't ever had things easy and as the last war took father, this one means more to her than to most.
So, I, Elizabeth Rose Lawson, always refferred to as Rose, will not blend into the grass here, will not stay forever making daisy chains and pretending to be eight once again. I will instead go and make bread for any returning troops, I will help with picking vegetables and fruit from farms which are workerless and I will most of all smile. I will hold my head high.
I will be a true Lawson Woman.