As a child growing up in the country , a field was a space where we played, hid, dozed, read, kissed, lost oneself and avoided – if there were cows . It was a performance space. In ‘A mid-summers night dream’ Peter Quince says – ‘This green plot shall be our stage’. Our presence however was always as the interloper. Fields always belonged to someone else, and yet the trespass and the danger brought both fear and thrill. I listened to Stiff Little Fingers reading my history books in a field one ‘O’ level summer til I was found by a boy in the village who tore the book from me and squashed worms between the pages.
Grass that has grown to the height of my ears, rattles as I push through. The air is heavy this afternoon. Thunder growls away to the west, is answered by the boom of the foghorn on the Isle of May. Meadow browns, small tortoiseshell, corn buntings, grasshopper. I meet three wee boys on bikes. The youngest, the bravest says to me – ‘This is called sticky willy’, holding out a piece of goosegrass to show me. I say’ I know’. He says-‘ How do you know that?’ I say, ‘I called it that when I was your age.’ He smiles and says ‘It makes me so happy.’