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The Good Thing

On my way home from an evening hike with a friend, I drive into a brief snow squall. Suddenly, the gravel road is entirely covered by snow, not a single track or blemish to be seen, everything smooth and white and quiet. It’s fun, driving over the sheet of white, snow hammering against the windshield, my darkened world reduced even further by the closed-in feeling of the squall, and I feel like I want to drive like this for a very long time, leaving my tracks to fill in behind me. As if I’d gone an entirely different direction. As if I’d never come this way at all. 

Too soon I arrive at the far side of the storm, and just as suddenly as it came upon me, it is gone. I speed up until a deer crosses the road in front of me, and looking from where it came (you always look from where it came), I see another standing at the shoulder. Body tensed, ears alert. I know it’s thinking of running, and I know I won’t be able to stop in time. “Stay,” I say. And the good thing is that it does.

5 thoughts on “The Good Thing”

  1. Nice. I can see this in my mind’s eye. The smooth road. The tracks filling in behind you like time filling in behind us when we leave. Always look from where it came. Another might be there waiting to cross. You say “stay”. There deer can’t hear you, of course. But can it? Can it feel your thought? Does it know?

  2. It is funny, I too have found snow squalls soothing in an odd way.
    I also always “speak” to the deer. “Stay” is the usual because when there is one, you always check for others. In summer I have actually yelled out the window to get a move on.

  3. Hi Ben….Lot of reverence for life in your words, something everyone needs, something many don’t have and never acquire. Finding it while contained within a snow squall is special.

  4. When my Wife and I were first married, we were living in Hanover, NH, and had a 1987 S-10 Blazer that we enjoyed driving in the new snow, putting down the first tracks like skiers enjoy doing. 4wd in low range, good tires, and high enough ground clearance gives a person access to roads that would be a serious challenge to the average sedan with all-season tires anytime before the snowplow gets there.

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