In the Barley Fields, We Played

The morning came with a summer sun.  The sunshine spilled through the tree branches, causing the dusty air to sparkle, giving the air itself a texture.  We ate little hotcakes cooked upon heated stones, and drank coffee from the fire, all made by the brotherhood of friars, in their quiet self-organized way that monks go about the daily chores of life. 

The Greyfriars then left as one, traveling from whence we came, as Granddad and I followed the road the other way.  Not too far apart, the band of monks began to sing.  And they sang until grandfather and I could hear them no more. 

It was about the height of day that the maples began to thin, more and more until we came unto vast fields of grain, barley fields, tall and thick.  With the passing of the wind among their heads of grain, the yellow fields became as rolling seas, gently moving as if being brushed by some unseen hand that was passing over golden fur. 

For a reason I could not first imagine, Granddad dropped his pack and walked into the barley fields, then slowly began to run.  he stopped and waved to me, "Lad, come and be with me."

And so I did, I began to chase him through the barley, and I was coming ever closer, when suddenly he dove into the grain, out of sight.  I searched for him where he ought to have been; then I searched for him in all the other places. 

Suddenly a young  boy, a lad about my age, jumped up and bid me to chase him.  He surprised me so, I was almost frozen in my place.  Form where did this blond haired, blue eyed boy come?  He looked familiar.  Even his clothing seemed somehow familiar, the sound of voice, the shape of his smile.  I looked about for grandfather, but he was nowhere to be found. 

The fair-haired boy stopped his run and called once more to me, "Come, catch me if you can."  I chased, he ran.  He was fast as the wind, a few strides faster than myself.  But he would slow to keep me near, joking, laughing, teasing.   We played chase for quite awhile in that noonday, sea of sunny grain.  Then as suddenly as he appeared, the young stranger dove into the grain and disappeared.  He was gone.  I searched.  And all I found was a red handkerchief ... just like the one Granddad always kept tucked into his back pocket. 

I now stood alone, oh, so all alone, there in the barley field.  I called out for Grandfather to reappear.  But no voice returned.  In the distance a solitary tree appeared, a sprawling, wide-spread oak.   It drew me to it for I sensed that there was comfort there. yes, that was it.   I sensed that there was comfort there.

The End

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