I have to say, the view out the window on the way to Chicago today was awfully barren. Maybe it had to do with the fact that getting ready for vacation requires its own kind of recovery before you can enjoy your actual vacation. Maybe it was just the dregs of winter, weighing heavily. But I almost accused the landscape, the broken battered trees, the small towns, of deliberate ugliness. It took about 30 minutes of driving and a turn east to start seeing beauty instead of post apocalyptic landscape. Maybe something in me is becoming more patient. Maybe. But my eyes softened some, and the magical was there after all, just hiding:
in the sun hitting a roof just right and turning it gold
in willow trees that hinted at something alive running through their veins
in dead grass, bare trees, pale sky that washed soft over my eyes
in a bright green barn, a royal blue roof, crisp orange storage shed doors
in the rectangular skeleton of a new building
in a curve of road
in swaths of fire-blond grass.
Then there was this:
in the extraordinary quiet that sometimes fell over us, the beauty of my children’s faces, the most beautiful faces I know—
string cheese, having sat and warmed itself in the car with us for a few hours, is sad, and limp, and makes us all laugh.
I’m ready now.