August 11, 1991
We drove to the mountains, she and I, on a warm summer day in August. The respite of cool mountain air flowed through the open windows of Susan’s old station wagon. We had no need for the radio as we chattered endlessly up the winding roads. Roads edged with pines that perfumed the air. We stopped at a hiking trail and meandered the wandering path.
We were on the cusp of our senior year of high school. We were seventeen years old and filled with the beauty of poetry, foreign films, and classical music. We adored beautiful things- wild and eclectic- nature, great books, coffee. Content that day in our youthful splendor as the sunlight danced through vibrant leaves.
It became warm as we walked among fallen branches beneath the summer sky. We pulled off our shirts, walking as free young women, no one else around. The sun glorious on our skin.
The light glinted off of wild berries. We savored them as we saw them, their rich flavor filling our mouths as we laughed and sang and explored. Feeling very grown up, we talked of the year to come, of her dreams of going to college and mine of going on Broadway. The natural world around us setting the stage for beautiful dreams and whimsical ideas.
“Let us meet here ten years from today!” Susan pronounced. We set the date in our minds.
The following spring we came upon a ditch that was edged in by flowing trees and grasses near my house. We dubbed it ‘The Woodlock.’ It was a lovely place where the water traversed happily past and around the bend. The perfect place for picnics or thermoses of coffee or for re-reading Anne of Green Gables. It was, of course, all very romantic and dreamy and beautiful.
“When we are older, we will bring our children here!” I proclaimed. She agreed.
Oh, those beautiful youthful moments where time allowed the creation of enchantment and walks through nature and great dreams of the future. As so often happens with friendships in youth, we lost touch a few years later. But there are still paths to traverse. Friends to dream with. Warm sunlight on our skin, wild berries to taste, and Woodlocks to discover. Let us meet there. Let us create beauty. La Belle Vie.