Weekenders: transience

I’m sitting shot gun and staring at the home brew in the cup holder. “What are the chances we’d get pulled over and the officer catches me drinking something that looks like iced tea?”  I ask myself dumbly (I didn’t drink it). For as long as I’ve known, the pace of life my family runs at is breakneck and for once as I’m sitting in the passenger seat, I’m not in control. Everything slows down just a little whether I want it to or not. The asphalt road starts to give way to gravel and the air seems to taste cleaner—sweeter almost. Aside from the farmers’ fields, nothing out here is tame. Tall grass, thistles, and wild flowers are everywhere and I’m getting itchy just looking at it. Naturally, we skip the allergy pills and start to walk. We walk through grass tall enough to graze my eyes, over fallen trees covered with moss, and through the thistles that cut our legs as we move along. The occasional breeze rustles the grass but the silence is deafening. My ears start to ring in response to the stillness and I look down to see a small crop of hives breaking out on my arm. The decision to head back has been made and all I can think about is splitting homemade beer and flipping through a book. Later, the most irritating sound starts to ring throughout the valley and as we stumble blindly through the trees to search for the source, we happen upon a heron’s nest. The sound is shrill and horrible enough that I imagine myself violently shaking what looks like a jack pine until the noise stops. But the sight of tiny wild strawberries dotting the landscape catches our eyes (the royal we), and the birds are forgotten quite quickly. We start picking them up but I’m putting more into my mouth than the bowl and this goes on for some time. Eventually we give up and sit down on some questionable looking logs to stare out into the woods. In that moment, everything is at a standstill and I close my eyes to try and savor the absolute calm. Time seems to move a lot faster after that and next thing I know, the winds have changed and we’re back in the city like we never left.

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