Friday, October 28, 2016

And None of You Stand So Tall

Sometimes we have the four seasons of the year in a single day in New England. Apparently, it’s what we do, unless you’re like me where you do it automatically and bleat piteously all the time it’s happening.

This time last week we had felt-like-record-high temperatures as if we were going to redo the middle of July all over again (I voted to second the motion but it was tabled I guess) and yesterday we had snow (a trace and taste of what's to come).

But on the days in between we had seriously brisk overnights where the moisture in the air clung lightly frozen to closely-cropped lawns (I’m not allowed to mow ours anymore and it’s getting a little long in the tooth) and where your footfalls made a distinct crunching sound when you walked on the grass and left tell-tale footprints that disappeared as the temperatures climbed when the sun rose above the horizon hours later.

I was listening to Nick Mason’s Pink Moon in the car because it’s excellent music first of all and a truly marvelous late-night-or-can-we-call-it-early-morning soundtrack. 

The sky in our part of the state of Connecticut has very little light pollution from populated areas because we don’t have many people to start with and most of us don’t like each other and live as far as possible from one another as we can. No, not true? Well, it seems that way when it comes to me, so I just figured it must apply to everyone else as well.

We had a full moon at some point last week but now the waning crescent moon was so low overhead I thought I could touch it and I remembered as a kid, riding in the back seat of a Chrysler Newport sedan and then later that navy blue barge of a station wagon I learned to drive on, always being impressed at how the moon was always on my side of the car, no matter how we twisted and turned.

The Impreza our current car, I still call it my new car even though we have it a little over two years and it wasn’t a new car when I bought it but it is new to me, is a hatchback rather than the small sports utility vehicle, a Forester that served me so well for so long. 

It’s lower than the Forester and on nights when I share the road with others I use that little switch on the mirror so the headlights behind me don’t obscure my view. We never needed that in the Forester but I use it all the time now.

My new car has a moon roof, the Forester didn’t, and I never use it during the day because my brain already works so badly I have no reason to bake it and then try to think. But driving along, keeping an eye on the moon and realizing neither of us was in any hurry to get to where we were going, I opened the moon roof and was immersed in a white, pale light that bathed rather than illuminated the front seat and and made the center console look like a dark island.

I drove almost the entire trip of a little more than a dozen miles from our house to work on a city street, state road, interstate and then back to a state road without seeing anyone else. There were no cars or trucks of any kind on the roadways or waiting at intersections to slide in behind me. 

I was the only person on earth, alone with the music and riding in an automobile that seemed to know the way and I was back to keeping track of the moon and where only one of us was heading.      
-bill kenny           

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