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Sometimes I miss a place I’ve never been

From Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River:
I waded ashore with measureless relief. Stay with me now. The bank was an even slope of waving knee-high grasses, and I came up into them and turned to look back. It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you’d been wading and knew its current. Somehow I’d crossed it and somehow was unsurprised at having done so. Near the shore the water appeared gold as on your favorite river at sunup, but farther out it turned to sky and cobalt and finally a kind of night in which the opposite shore lay hidden.

At that moment I had no notion of identity. Nor of burden. I laughed in place of language. The meadow hummed as though thick with the nests of waking creatures, and the grasses were canyon colored, lifting their heads as I passed. Moving up from the river the humming began to swell—it was magnetic, a sound uncurling into song and light and even a scent, which was like earth, and I must’ve then entered the region of nests, for up scattered finches and cheeky longspurs and every sort of bunting and bobolink and piebald tanager. All these rose with sweet chaotic calls, whirling and resettling to the grass. More placid, butterflies clung everywhere to stems—some you would know, the monarchs and tailed lunas, but others of such spread and hue as to have long disappeared from the gardens of the world. The meadow was layered with flight. In fact it seemed there was nothing that couldn’t take wing. Seized with conviction I spread my arms and ran for it. Nope, no liftoff—but I came close! At times my feet were only brushing the ground. . . .
(Image: Wikipedia Commons)

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