Random Evening

After dinner, I suggest walking to the post office with the mail that needs to go out.

My 15-year-olds says hopefully, Drive?

I’d rather not. I rather walk by the food pantry and admire their stunning flower garden before this season’s blossoms fade, but I say sure. For a few more months, she can’t drive without me.

There’s hardly anyone out this evening, as she drives to the post office, then up to the high school where she parks, and we laugh, and we walk around the building. The school’s been closed for months now. Weeds from the front flowerbed spread across the cement walkway.

There’s no one around. A heron wings across the sky.

At the parking lot’s exit, she brakes and asks me, Which way?

You’re driving, I answer.

She turns away from home.

As she drives, I think of that old cliché, that having small children brings you into the hear-and-now. Same for the pandemic, I suppose. She circles through town and stops at the community gardens, where I get out and admire the raised beds.

Each of these days is a kind of bouquet — filled with work and exhaustion, with garden picking and wood stacking, with my daughter’s wondering, Will soccer really begin this Monday?, with our little family, sometimes getting along, sometimes out of sorts, but always pulling together in one way or another.

As she drives, I think of history and all the hard, hard times people have endured. The future lies before us, a great unknown, and yet, each day, this daughter edges one day closer to her own womanhood.

She pulled over to the side of the road, parks, and get out. Look at the sky, she says. She snaps a photo, making a memory of these days.

Photo by Gabriela S.

4 thoughts on “Random Evening

  1. Look at the sky indeed … and look at the reflection of the sky in that beautiful, big puddle. Your daughter has an eye for everyday wonder. I love popping by and seeing so many moments captured by her photos.

  2. I wanted to say another lovely musing, but since that word is becoming over used I looked up synonyms- most interesting one being pulchritudinous, but that seems awkward or maybe even archaic?! Love the thought of each one of these days being a kind of bouquet…and at least in Vermont we can still enjoy resplendent sunsets and don’t have to contend with horrific wildfires. As I read your writing my husband read news from an old friend who lives in Santa Cruz whose family is poised to flee today, contending with not only the complications of the pandemic but the ‘Heritage redwoods which have been alive since before Jesus was born are on fire’.

    • I’d like to write that those fires seem almost unreal — although in 2020 apparently our understanding of unreal has been obliterated. My thoughts are with your old friend’s family. What a time….

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