We were looking at some old pictures the other days, and came upon this one of a kid in the ringed T-shirt. Without even looking at the date, we knew right away it was from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Why? Because just a picture of the ringed T-shirts of our youth calls up such a sense of familiarity, nostalgia and comfort.
We wore them as kids, all the other kids we knew wore them (at least until they were replaced by the tie-dyed shirts a few years later). You weren’t a little kid during that area, in certain parts of the world, without having some version of the ringed T-shirt.
It’s old, personal magic.
So why is it that the ringed lines of of the harvested field near our house have the same effect on me?
I didn’t grow up here in France, I didn’t even grow up around fields, and certainly not around wildflower meadows that get harvested for winter cattle feed.
Still, this early summer vision, which I’ve seen for almost 20 years now, has the same effect on me as a ringed T-shirt. A sense of comfort, a confidence in the familiar progress of the seasons. The meadow grows wild every year, reaches a peak, and then grows wild again until its second harvest in autumn.
A note: This is the same favorite meadow that just a week ago looked like this:
Every year, I miss the wildflowers and watch the butterflies bob aimlessly through the empty field for a week or so. And then the new growth begins.