The main road curves in its usual way,
up over the hill and down
in winding swaths
through the woods.
But there is one special place on the top. One special place where if I look to the right at exactly the right moment, I see a long straight sideroad made of dirt. It slopes down easy, toward the sun and out of sight. There are sunflowers growing on one side and trees on the other, and low blue hills beyond, and my heart takes a breath of longing.
I want to drive that road.
Perhaps it is something about the light.
Perhaps it is the other road that it reminds me of.
The one from my childhood, when we drove home from town on the main road and looked (like this) to the right, where there was a straight road heading down to the river. I could see the water at that place, where the trees broke rank and the light came through. I could see the rising shore of Canada on the other side, and it made my childish heart breathe free and wild, closely connected to places far away, places you had to drive a long way round to get to. That dirt road told me that I was almost home—and also that I was woven into the fabric of the universe, and the places that had always been. First People lived by that river, long ago. Our own woods crept close to it. Friends lived beside and across it, all down the stream. And the hills rose gently up against the sky.
Now I remember that old road when I see this one, the way it runs straight with a purpose, the way it connects all the worlds, and the way it dips down out of sight, tempting me to follow.
Roads have always called to me. The beautiful ones I have not taken haunt me.
I think about chasing this one. I think about turning someday on a whim, finding out my way, taking it slow. Seeing where I go, and how the dirt feels beneath my tires, and what sights I recognize and what is new. I want to see what the light looks like up close, when I get there, and how the clear water feels on my feet. I think about it and my heart opens.
But this wish is worth more to me uncaptured.
I prefer the inhale of expectation to the sigh of ending, however happy. I would rather know it might bring joy than know it has. I would rather keep its promise like a falling star in my pocket, saved.
Longing is not a bad place to make my home.