May 9th, 2006.

The end of the innocence.

We’ve been having some beautiful weather of late, the kind that leads me to dream up a reason to leave my office and drive somewhere and go for a walk. Yesterday I decided to head out for a little afternoon walk in the countryside just down the road from where I live.

I wandered on paths through the woods as a gentle breeze blew through trees that sounded like they were applauding my decision to escape the confines of my office. Eventually, I came to a small field of long green grass decorated with daisies and dandelions. I found a spot to sit and watched the clouds as they silently rolled by overhead.

For some reason the scene took me right back to when I was an innocent 17-year-old boy walking in the fields with my girlfriend looking to lose the innocence that we ironically seem to yearn for in later years. We would ride our bikes out to that field then walk through the long grass and wildflowers to ‘our tree’. Sometimes we would lie in the grass and point out shapes and forms in the clouds as they rolled by, and other times clouds were the last things on our minds.

As complicated as we both thought our lives were back then, they weren’t complicated at all. We didn’t really have a care a world as we basked in the evening summer sun, forever was a long time, and we had all the time in the world, or so we thought. Our ‘love’ eventually faded like the warmth of that summer of 1988, and the tree that provided us with shade on those long warm summer evenings will probably outlive us both.

I sat there for a while just enjoying the warmth of the sun and those memories of innocent days. Eventually made my way back to my car and as I approached it I smiled and thought to myself thinking ‘now that’s progress.’ In 1988 it was a shiny mountain bike that took me to those long grass fields and I wished then for an open-top sports car. Today I have the open-top sports car, and here I was wishing just for a moment to have that shiny mountain bike once more.

I started the engine, checked my phone, then pulled away leaving a cloud of dust and 1988 behind me. Now that’s progress.