Driving along my road home, both front windows open, the sky draws my eyes upward. This is one of those late spring days that you remember. Actually, it is just this moment, not the whole day, but you get my meaning. Ordinary yet memorable. Worth holding on to a little longer. The scene? Rolling hills all around me. Cows out to pasture. Horses too. Green fields popping with yellow dandelions. A flock of geese settled down momentarily by a reedy pond. Black birds darting from one side of the road to the other as a dare, they play, cavalier about the outcome. How close they flap by my bumper! Crabapple blossoms cover each and every branches with puffs of pale pink and even speeding past their fragrance is a wafting sweetness. All this in one flash of a moment.
Rush hour is a paradoxical notion in rural Vermont, yet some late commutes there is a pickup riding my bumper as I make my way home. But today, the road is mine, and I am left to float up and down, south to north, along pavement curled like black ribbon for several miles. I am unencumbered, and even for a fleeting moment, this is a welcome sensation.
Last year’s rolled hay bales finally free of frost and snow lay on the reborn spring fields as odd decaying fixtures. I want to stop and photograph these incongruous clusters but as the road crests and I am almost home, I don’t; plus this is right across from the egg place and inevitably there are half a dozen chickens scratching the dirt by the road’s edge that I am trying to avoid squashing. How they survive is an unavoidable question one always ponders here. Seriously.
Around the last bent the road closes in on both sides by forest. On a rare occasion or two we have spied a wily fox running into the deep. His tail a bush of red draws our attention and brings a WOW with a smile. He’s an exciting neighbor after all, and a recluse. Plenty of times we are halted by a string of wild turkeys, pensive and harried they cross with complaints; conscious of the old wives tale that turkeys mean ‘money is coming’ we beam, buoyed by their disruption.
In the winter months several homes around ours are lit with white stars and other holiday cheer and I am grateful for their illumination on my dark drive. But during the long days of late May we still have sunlight, now slanted across the horizon, filtering through the thick pine and birch and maple woodland. Ferns fill the undergrowth reaching as if their life depends on it; tenacious down to the root. Patchy light dances where it may, and the forest expands, seemingly bigger today.
Before our driveway stands the last house we called home. (Yes, we did in fact move next door). An unique structure, half built with field stone; it’s now a reminder of the temporariness of our days on this planet, our limited time figuring out how to utilize moments that form a hour, to ensure we grab each opportunity in life: to soak in all this love.