I stand in a large field. I have been standing here since early morning. Summer has begun. School is recently out and today the nation begins celebrating with a three-day weekend.
Earlier, as I was leaving home, a neighboring couple and their children were energetically loading a camper. They were all set for the extra day of not having to work. One of the parents waved at me and asked me what I was going to do with the extra time. I said I was going to visit my son. They smiled and nodded that that was good. They then quickly volunteered everything that they were going to do. Well-meaning people sometimes ask you a question so they can eagerly tell you their answer. I guess that I don’t blame them.
As I stand in the field, I eventually notice all the flowers that are appearing. I still like flowers. I can remember all the wild flowers my family found in the woods and around lakes as we hiked years ago. The flowers wave in the breeze, which feels colder than it really is.
Some people have been planning this weekend for most of the winter. I wish that I could say the same. They talk of baseball season being in full swing – they don’t catch their own joke. When I play catch with my younger children, I use a newer glove. I still own an older, dried-out glove, but it will sit and now catch nothing but dust.
People talk of summer jobs. Tourism is on most people’s minds; either as participants, venders, retailers, motel and food businesses, or a gamut of other angles of the summer trade. After all, tourism is one of South Dakota’s biggest industries. Some jobs involve manual labor. Such labor is good for a person, though I feel older and weaker the last few years. Whatever the summer job, many younger people are working toward buying a car or trying to pay for next year’s tuition. Watching the eagerness of high school graduates as they plan for college brings back memories for me. I try to think of other things.
More and more flowers are now in the field. The sun is now high into the sky, but for some reason everything still seems dark to me. The breeze is light and probably warm, but I shiver anyway. Everything is so green, so there is no other excuse for the dust that seems to be bothering my eyes. The field is quiet. It always is.
I believe that some towns are having parades today. I haven’t watched a parade on this three-day weekend for years now.
Some people are fishing today. I once loved to fish. I still do, but it’s just not quite the same any more. I must make a point to take my family out to the lake as often as possible this summer, but not this weekend. Picnics, parks, strolls, and marathon hikes will also have to wait for some other weekend. Today, I am in this field.
The breeze causes my eyes to water. A few drops roll down my cheeks and fall to the ground. More and more follow.
Tears fall from my face ... to the grave ... of my son.