Saturday, my daughter and I drive through Montpelier, Vermont’s capitol city. I’m in the passenger seat, as I always seem to be these days, while she negotiates intersects. Who has right-of-way? When can you turn right on red?
Eventually, she parks, and we walk around town.
At a take-out window, I order her a milkshake. Since she can’t walk down the street and drink a milkshake with a mask, we sit on the state house lawn, while she drinks the milkshake. I lie back beneath the immense maple tree and remember nursing her here, sixteen summers ago.
Eventually, she looks at me, and says, There’s so many people.
It’s true; people are walking back and forth to the farmers’ market. College students are playing frisbee. Families are everywhere. But it’s also Vermont and not particularly populous.
At just a few weeks shy of sixteen, my daughter straddles that terrain between girl and woman, beautiful and strong and curious.
Looking at her, I marvel that over a year of her life has been spent in such isolation, our world shuttered up.
On our walk back to our car, we stop beneath the crab apple blossoms and breathe in. Spring.
It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.
It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out––no guarantees
in this life.
But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,