They sit close together in high golden grasses. Mid-day sunshine slowly erases early morning winter’s chill. Steam clouds no longer accompany each breath. Overhead, horizon to horizon, cirrus clouds swish a swath across blue sky as though some artist, brush dipped in white, was forecasting a probable storm.
The contentment of holding hands amid the prairie's secrets leaves them sitting still, the kind of perfect quiet that birds attend, heads tipped, eyes watchful for stealthy raptors. A stone's toss away, a few red-wings take flight. A tiny field mouse appears, stops, disappears in blink of an eye. Even insects are silent.
He fusses with his overall shoulder strap, loosened on their walk. She brushes away something he hadn’t noticed from her dress-front, tucks a leg beneath her, only slightly changing the way she sits. Heads turn, just enough for eyes to meet. Their long gaze tells a story better than spoken words. Unwilling to break that moment, they speak a silence learned from sharing while working in the fields. How long? Each gives and each receives from heart to heart.
Sometime later on the return walk, what they’ve learned by listening has built a better life within them. At the wagon, and after giving her a helping hand, they sit side by side again on their ride back to her parent’s farm. He doesn’t hold the reins. The horse knows the way. There is a kind of ‘rightness’ that's followed, as clearly as the wagon’s trail. Though never spoken aloud, both know they’ll tell their parents what they've decided. It’s time.
“Looks like we’ll get some rain,” he says.
She slips her arm beneath his and rests her head upon his shoulder.
“Yes,” she says.
* * *