A week ago, I am driving down a country road that hugs tight to the curves of the river.
The road runs long through a tunnel of trees, and I am driving behind a tractor trailer, its top so high that it lops off all the low-hanging limbs as it goes, sending a shower of leaves all around me.
We drive, and drive, and the bits of leaves skitter over my hood, slap my windshield. I think, then, that if I could take this picture in black and white, it would look like Winter: my headlights cutting a swath not through leaves but through snow, the white flakes floating and spinning in the beams.
I take a breath, and consider, how narrow the divide between one thing and the next: Winter and Summer. Brokenness and Beauty.
And maybe there’s no divide at all.
My foot eases the gas pedal closer to the floor and I feel the car surge forward toward the bumper of the tractor trailer, see the torn leaves fall thicker and faster, a blizzard of green just cut clean from the stem.
I am thirty-three now. Old enough to feel the way my days are numbered. Still — if I take a breath, I can feel my lungs expand to eat the air, my heart pushing the oxygen through me so that it pulses in my fingertips against the steering wheel.
I am a broken thing, and I am breathlessly, astoundingly alive…