Monday, June 08, 2009

Quiet Field

The sky is a midnight blue verging on purple. Tiny stars sparkle dimly in the far distance, small and scattered glistening white points of light. In comparison, the moon is a swollen white orb dangling in the night sky. Against the darker hues, its whiteness is dazzling. Beneath its dewy gaze the grass is visible in hues of green verging on blue drenched in the nighttime atmosphere. The individual blades are thick, but soft and moist. A sweet odor comes up from of it, mingling with the mustier smell of the soil beneath its mane. The air is warm enough to accommodate bare skin while still managing to be refreshingly cool. Small creatures of the night move gently under the silver light. A rabbit with chestnut colored fur tests the night air with a small pink nose and slips in and out of its little hole, down the cool long tunnel and out upon the springy carpet of grass. Something flies silently over the landscape, a shadow that is visible for only a moment before blending into the dark skies.
The grasses ride a casually sloping hill to the crest and reach out to the east as far as the eye can see, disappearing beneath the curtain blanket of night. In the west, they are interrupted by a simple concrete porch and the dirty white stucco of a large Spanish style house. Its walls rise two stories. The first floor is void of windows, save for the sliding glass doors that open out onto the porch. The second is composed of a balcony lined with wooden rails painted to match the chocolate brown trim of the house, which looks almost black without the sun. The house is dark and silent, capped like a mushroom by a red tile roof whose color, like that of the grass, is altered by the evening’s disposition.
To the south, there is an out flow channel that extends like a concrete riverbed from the base of the mountains that loom behind the house. Empty of water, it stands as a barrier behind a fence of linked chain. The presence of moisture in the air comes without its complements. The east opens out upon itself as a grassy wilderness. In the distance, just barely visible, two barren trees stand guard and beyond them a dirt path leads to strange roads hidden from view by the border of a forest. The tall conifers seal the field, protecting it from the world beyond.
In the patch of land between the house and this forest wall, the grass is overcome by wild oats. Overgrown, they constitute a waist deep sea of crackly yellow stalks upon which praying mantis’ and crickets perch. The later chirp tenderly into the night, rubbing their little legs together with languor, taking breaks between sets. While the crickets play their lazy songs, the Mantis’ stalk their prey, smaller bugs that hide under the dainty sheaths of oats. Beneath this brittle canopy of wild grains, field mice scurry on the errands of busy little mammals, grateful to be out of the sight of the shadows which pass overhead, wings beating softly against the delicious evening air. Disappearing into the east, and running along the chain link flanked wash, stands a row of somber olive trees, as dutiful as Roman soldiers. Their leaves are dark and glossy. The unripe olives hanging among the branches are purple, although under the moonlight they are almost the color of coal.

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