Belgium Spring Dream

Completely worn out after a long day in the sun doing my annual home landscaping, I showered, threw on Van Morrison’s, Common One, and sunk into the couch for a quick revitalization tour.  I soon drifted off behind the lyrics, “Oh, my common one with the coat so old and the light in her head”.

What seemed like only minutes later, a sweet floral smell crept through my olfactory receptors.  I breathed deeply as scent made its way to my piriform cortex when I recognized the cloying smell of hyacinth and a touch of dew.  DEW? I quickly sat up half in a daze as I tried to comprehend my surroundings.  I was no longer on my comfy couch, but smack in the middle of a wet spring field of hyacinth.  I stood and wiped off as much of the dampness and grass off my backside and gazed across field of flowers.  I could see a line of small oak trees about a mile in the distance and I assumed there must be a road running parallel to the trees.

As I made my way through the field, a cool, welcoming breeze seemed to encompass me along with new scents of lemons and pears.  The closer I got to the oak trees, the stronger and sweeter the scent became.  The field broke as the afternoon sun rose high over the oaks and glistened on a sandy one lane road that twisted around the line of trees and through some Lily of the Valley.

The scent of lemons and pears became intense as I started toward the direction of the bend in the road and I now also began to draw in the redolence of apples.  My head spun with these delicious fragrances and my stomach ached for a taste.  As I rounded the bend in the road I noticed an old copper bicycle resting on a small tree but no sign of its owner.  I yelled a few times, but the only voice to be heard was my own echo.  I decided to give my attention to this beautiful vintage bike just waiting for someone to take it for a spin.  It was an old Schwinn Hornet, and other than some sun worn copper paint and a few scratches, it was in excellent condition. I hopped on and made my way through the countryside carpeted with bluebells towards the enticing scents hoping to soon find their origin.

Not more than a mile up the road I found myself engulfed in glorious pastures of apples, lemons, and pears.  Before I could jump off my Hornet and run for the nearest tree, a strong scent of yeast almost knocked me to the ground.  It was then I noticed a windmill climbing out of the middle of the apple orchard and smoke billowing above.

I raced through the orchard as the sounds of laughing and music met me halfway and helped guide me to the gathering.  I came to another open field and in the center sat a giant windmill surrounded by large wooden tables filled with food and coolers underneath.  People were spread through the open field and around the windmill.  Some were playing guitars and fiddles, some were tossing horseshoes, some were just laying in the grass and looked to be enjoying a pint, but most were gathered near the tables which appeared to offer a feast.  A hand waved at me as I heard a voice say, “Join us, friend”.  I hurried over to greet my new friends anxious to get a closer look at the glorious feast.

There was hardly an introduction.  It was as if I was meant to be there and they’ve known me for years.  I was met with smiles and and handshakes as someone offered to take my bike and put with all the others which were clustered near an open fire pit. I was handed a plate and told to make myself at home as my taste buds went into a tizzy when I saw the amazing spread.  Dozens of warm baked breads, yellow cakes with lemon frosting, apple pies, and roasted pears, lay before me.  “You must be thirsty from your journey.”, a man said as he handed me a pint filled with a marvelous copper liquid topped with a frothy white foam that danced in the sunlight.  I put down my plate and took down the pint in one long swig.  Laughing, the man smacked my shoulder and began to pour me another pint before I could thank him for the first.  I sipped this one in even more amazement.  Somehow every scent I encountered that day had been collected and dispersed into this heavenly pint.  I had to have more.  I sat down on ground with my third pint and gazed over to the keg where the man had gone to fill another pitcher.  It read in big bold letters, ‘New Belgium Spring Blonde’.  A splendid Belgium pale ale for beautiful spring day.

I closed my eyes to take another long drink only to open them and find myself back on my couch and quite parched.  I jumped up, grabbed my keys and scurried off the the nearest liquor store to grab a six pack of Spring Blonde to quench my thirst.  If only I had remember to put on pants, my day would have been perfect.