Back when I was 7, camps were my definition of summers. One of my most memorable camp took place in a village near Brasov called Wolkendorf, which literally meant “Cloud village”.
Wolkendorf was an old Saxon village and we stayed in an old Saxon house with an old garden, run by an old lady. But then again everyone and anything older than 30 seems old to a seven-year old, so reality might have been different. As you walked for half an hour through the dusty streets of the quiet village, passing by huge green gates that seemed to be made for giants not humans, you would reach the outskirts of this fairy-tale town. And there, there was the field. A field as long and wide as the horizon, covered with golden grass and wheat that reached to your knees. It had a coating of huge hidden hills which seemed to have grown onto it like lumps on an ancient creature’s back and a lot of cow pies camouflaged with the scenery. At the end of the field, where the forest began, there was a humongous white stone cross.
We (boys and girls aged from 7 to 15) raced to the cross every evening before going to bed. The leaders lined us all up, shouted “GO!” and we ran.
Ran, soaring across this vast field, dodging hills, outrunning older competitors, ignoring the pain that shot through my feet every time I hit a rock or jumped off a hill and landed awkwardly. Ran spluttering into dozens of cow pies without even caring, knowing that the stream next to the cross would cleanse my soles. Ran, laughing barley breathing underneath a pink bluish sky of clouds.