It starts with the simplest of things. An idea. No plans. A beautiful day. When do we ever have full control? This is the time. Take it and go.
Sitting around with a group of old friends. Youthful eyes gleam in not yet tired bodies. Wine has circulated. Thoughts provoke. We will all grow old soon. The conversation turns with the asking of one ambiguous question and we scatter off into the night.
Hearts beating rapidly to the friction of screeching tires fighting against something rough- the sly combination of dirt- like camel colored clay- and broken rocks. Gravel. There are no lights. We see no one.There are no strangers here. And with the coaxing of a few, we light a single torch to guide us on our way down the path we take to the farm house far off in the distance.
We feel our way through the darkness to find an abandoned barn. Overcome with the smell of hay. Paint peeling off the walls. Hands outstretched, we climb the rotted wooden floor boards grasping for each other. The dim moon casting shadows through a large pane-less window. In a corner, bruised leather saddles with rusted stirrups. Shovels. A ladder. Sharp cold objects brush against us- whispering not to make any noise.
We search for shelter in what was once the main house. Unforgiving, we crack a window and climb through. If everyday life could be so easy. There are no rules. Perfectly made rooms- furniture covered in clear plastic, sheathed in layers of dust. We search the rooms in the dark and peel back the neatly laid beds to rest. Gravity pulls our eyelids down. Heavy, like window shades.
Old giant creatures move like glaciers through a shape connected by wooden planks and wire. We jump the iron fence. Chasing one another like school children. Ulterior motives like teenagers. We have awoken. A rooster crows.
A thunder of bare feet pound through a wild field of mud and ivy green. Patches of bramble. Bristles mark pin points on our calloused heels- toes cold from the dew in the morning grass.
A fire is crafted and we watch it burn, wondering what we can make from the flames. A table is set. Just for now. Playing house. The moment is right.
Gather in the kitchen with bundles of found fruit and vegetables. Hot cast iron. Coffee grounds. Basket of eggs- brown and cream and speckled sea foam green. The oven opens to welcome a large pillow of warm bread. A pitcher of fresh orange and pulp gets passed around the table. Drink. Omelets emerge on an enormous plate. Asparagus, melted leeks, creamy brie. Eat.
Sparklers. In the field, a skull. Bones. Left in to rot. Alone. We are not this. And we dwell only to marvel at the beauty in structure. In life. Before we go on living ourselves. Being. Doing what we never thought we could be, just this once. Inhaling the feeling all before it disappears. Freedom never looked this good.
Polaroids of each other snap in our minds as we blink. The memories of this time will slowly fade. But fortitude- when we depart we will never feel so strong. Confidence is a mysterious being, but we receive it well nonetheless.
In the city we will sink- an anchor in salty water. The air is thick like tar. But not here. The great escape- breathe easy. Friends shouldn’t be fleeting. Spring is here.
Photography: Ashley Florence