Running through the field with my bag across my shoulder and a shoe in each hand. The corn swirping against my legs. The sun burning against my skin, white against the very blue sky. Wild flowers, weeds and warm, soft sand against my bare feet. Trying to avoid the occasional thistle and shouting out in pain when I accidentally step on one. Sarah is a few feet behind me and I slow down, looking at the tiny stream in front of us, cutting through the field to ensure that the earth won't dry out. The water is green and still. The tiny riverbeds on both sides are overgrown with thistles and nettles, so high that they reach our knees, and the heavy summer air is rustling the rushes there's breaking through the mud and rising above the water.
We both know what to do. Parting and following the still stream in both directions, we're looking for a place along the riverbed that isn't overgrown with thistles, where the sand doesn't fall apart and sinks into the river at the lightest touch, and, more important, where there's a similar place across the river, on the other side of this thin strip of water there's to big to walk across but still so narrow that it's possible to jump - even for two kids.
I'm first. Sarah is comprehensive. She's younger than me and she isn't used to play around on the field, so she's holding the purple back while I run towards the tiny stream, jumps, and fall forwards as soon as my feet touch the sand on the other side. My left hand hits a thistle and I cry out in shock and pain. A foot slips on the loose sand, a toe's dipping in the cool water. Then I'm up again, ready to catch the bag Sarah's trowing over the stream, and then's she's trowing my shoes into the field there's continuing behind the stream, and then her own shoes, and now she not sure whether she dares to jump.
"Come on," I say, and she decides to look around for a better place to jump from while I wait impatiently, drinking some of the lukewarm lemonade from the bag.
"Can't we just go over there - by the trail where the stream ends?"
I look towards the end of the field, it'd take at least ten minutes for Sarah to get down there, and then she'd have to run all the way back to me instead of just jumping over the stream here, in the middle of the field. There's a tiny bridge somewhere along the way but it's old and slippery, merely a few branches laid across the stream. I want her to jump. Finally, she starts running, a determined look on her face, but then she stops abruptly right before setting of.
"I can't do it," she claims, but this time she does it. She takes the bag and I find my shoes among some wild grass, and then we continue towards the next stream, hidden between high riverbeds of white sand, it's almost like a tiny beach. And we're looking across the field with all the golden corn, swaying in the wind, to the forest far, far away, behind more streams than I'm able to count, where trails lead in between the trees to places we've never seen before.