Often in the mornings I drive our younger son to work. Or rather he drives me; he’s 14, and learning the row the gears in the little stick shift, and we practice on the lesser-traveled gravel roads. I make him stop in the middle of an incline, then start again, and I chide him for riding the clutch. But the truth is, he’s a good driver, probably better than I was at 14. Certainly more responsible.
The writing I don’t do here is stuck in my head, like the image of a herd of cows the other morning, early, just after dawn, this time me driving through the verdant land, the lushness almost overwhelming to the senses, past the grazing cows, and two of them off to the side, one licking the others’ neck, the lickee tilting her head just so, all the better to have her itches properly scratched. And wondering how they communicate this need, or if it’s just happenstance.
Or gathering morels with my son, the same one I take driving, so many mushrooms we eat them for three days straight until suddenly they don’t seem so special anymore and we decide not to go back for more. Though there were so many. Never seen morels like that.
On the highway, I see a snapping turtle trying to cross. I stop and hurry it along, and an hour later, returning home, I see it again (or is it really? Could it be a different one? It looks like the same one to me), now heading in the opposite direction. This does not seem possible, but there it is, so I stop again, and hurry it along again, skootching the indignant beast with my boot until it’s out of harm’s way. Thinking all the while that one of these days the turtle’s going to get hit. I got shit to do. I can’t just hang out kicking it across the road.
Other things, too. In and out of my mind, they all seem noteworthy in the moment, but so many of them just fade away, and I return to the cows, the mushrooms, the turtle. And the sound, yet again, of rain on the roof.