En av dessa ljuvliga böcker som jag läser då och då.
Författaren Laurie Lee (1914-1997) blev känd för mig genom boken Cider With Rosie som jag en gång fick av en god vän. Fortsättningen heter I Can't Stay Longer. Och jag bara kände vilken fascinerande författare, jag ville läsa mera.
Boken As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning handlar om hur han lämnar sin hemby Stroud i Gloucestershire county i sydvästra England, och sedan via London tar sig över till ett okänt Spanien som drabbats så hårt av inbördeskriget.
Laurie Lee kan detta att med ord låta läsaren dras in i en kultur som är både spännande, vacker och även lite farlig.
Men å vilken underbar början boken har. Jag ville bara vandra med...
The stooping figure of my mother, waist-deep in the grass and caught there like a piece of sheep's wool, was the last I saw of my country home as I left it to discover the world. She stood old and bent at the top of the bank, silently watching me go, one gnarled red hand raised in farewell and blessing, not questioning why I went. At the bend of the road I looked back again and saw the gold light die behind her; then I turned the corner, passed the village school, and closed that part of my life for ever.
It was a bright Sunday morning in early June, the right time to be leaving home. My three sisters and a brother had already gone before me; two other brothers had yet to make up their minds. They were still sleeping that morning, but my mother had got up early and cooked me a heavy breakfast, had stood wordless while I ate, her hand on my chair, and had then helped me pack up my belongings. There had been no fuss, no appeals, no attemps at advice or persuasion, only a long and searching look. Then, with my bags on my back, I'd gone out into the early sunshine and climbed through the long wet grass to the road.
It was 1934. I was nineteen years old, still soft at edges, but with a confident belief in good fortune. I carried a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese. I was excited, vain-glorious, knowing I had far to go; but not, as yet, how far. As I left home that morning and walked away from the sleeping village, it never occurred to me that others had done this before me.