Scars, Somewhere in November, 2020

Every morning, a hard frost sugarcoats our world.

Before the snow falls in earnest, my daughter drives, logging in hours and experience with her driver’s permit. We head out one way and take a different road back home.

Inadvertently, wandering, we end up on a road in Elmore that I haven’t traveled in years. While she and her sister talk, I remember the last time I had traveled that road was with my mother and the girls, who were so much younger then. The forest drops away on either side of the backroad. Farm fields, shaved down to corn stubble, surround us.

The girls’ father was away then, visiting his father who was recovering from a heart attack. When he returned, I believed we had a new beginning, a jumpstart to what we were doing as a family. Now, with my youngest in the driver’s seat of our Subaru, I have a sudden realization that there’s never any beginning, never any fresh start, the world always unfolding and transforming — from harrowed up fields to spring shoots to the fatness of August’s harvest.

This girl — all of her, stoic and disciplined and sometimes radiantly joyful — is becoming a young adult in these strange pandemic days. I imagine she’ll carry these months (maybe years?) forever with her, sewn into her soul like a scar.

The road winds around the rural hospital where both my daughters were born by caesarian, leaving my own body with indelible scars. I wouldn’t trade those scars for the world.

Photo of Teapot by Diane Grenkow