thanks to Memoir of a Writer for providing the inspiration for this post.
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
― Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water
Had she been driving with the windows down, playlist off, phone notifications silenced, she might have felt at one with the growl of tires on loose gravel, or allowed the matted damp musk of a forest after the just-rain to even her keel.
But she, hands at ten and two, cruise control set, knew by her navigation app that this place, this pixel on her screen, was not the programmed destination. That this space of curved routes, of buffering coverage, would give way to the comfort of lines upon lines, to the contentment of street names and strip malls and traffic lights. Of places to go, things to do.
Until the fox.
She almost missed it, shaggy and sauntering, trotting its way at the side of the road. But there it was. And she had never seen a fox before, not one outside of a cage, or an exhibit, or a museum display. Not one ever in its intended space. And all of a sudden, she was not sure if she’d never seen one because they’d been elusive, or if she had simply never looked.
Despite herself, she found herself off-course.
She broke. Shifted. Killed her engine.
There, in that very particular silence that fell, in that very stillness she had guarded herself from, in that very quiet she had for so long kept at bay, she now sat.
(to be continued)