“I still get an uncontrollable urge to roll down a grassy hill, especially on a summer day, with the grass mown smooth and the earth smelling warm. There is a simple wholeness to it, a clarity of cause and effect. The best part is the beginning, at the top, feeling the rolling first in the dreaming of it: rolling straight and fast, faster still, gathering force as I fall.” ~ Elizabeth Long, “Life in the Clearing”, The Harrowsmith Country Reader
I remember rolling down gentle hills when I was a little girl. Dressed in plaid shorts and a jersey I would throw my whole self into the activity. There was nothing more important. No thought of grass stained clothes. Or getting twigs and bugs and leaves in my hair. Just the lovely freedom of falling, and knowing that at the bottom of the hill, I would get up, brush myself off and run to the top again to repeat the pursuit of freedom—the letting go and just rolling down the hill.
As we get older, we lose that freedom. We care about getting our clothes stained. We care about keeping our hair just so. We care that someone will see us and judge our lunacy. If I tried rolling down a hill today, I would probably break a hip, or turn my ankle running back up the hill, or get too dizzy to jump up again. (My dad was right, getting old is hell, though I will never admit to getting old, I understand his sentiment.)
There are ways to roll down the hill if not physically, actually and literally—at least metaphorically, symbolically and representationally (yes I am using my thesaurus again). The hill is still there to conquer and I am still that little girl in plaid shorts with my tangled pony tail and huge smile. There is still a lot of life left and I am going to take Erma Bombeck’s advice to herself when she found out she had cancer:
“…(if) given another shot at life, I would seize every minute; look at it and really see it; live it and never give it back….”
Tell me what your little bit of lunacy would be…………..