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.
The field in rows.
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.
The field, post-cut and pre-rowed. So many different kinds of grass and wildflowers.
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:
When they were still upright and green.
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.