March in February — the fields are beginning to open, at least for this afternoon, for this particular moment. I park by the side of the road and take the long way where I’m going, by foot, my hat off, jacket unzipped, letting the wind pull at my hair.
I’m snapping a photo of a field and the sky when a car pulls over at the side of the road. There’s no one else around, and for a moment I wonder if he’s a landowner, angry or just curious what I’m doing. Wednesday afternoon, and no one is around.
He gets out of his mud-splattered white car, laughing, and asks for directions back to a paved road. He was visiting someone and took “the other way.” I laugh back, and we joke about where the other way in Vermont leads someone.
We stand there, joking, the dirt road both melting and already beginning to freeze again as we speak.
When he gets in his car and disappears down the road, I stand for a moment longer. I’d wanted nothing more than wind in my eyes, sunlight on my face. Fait accompli. Then it’s back to civilization for me, too.
“I feel my life start up again,
like a cutting when it grows
the first pale and tentative
root hair in a glass of water.”— Jane Kenyon