Saturday, September 10, 2011

when we stop roadside

it was a gentle spring day and we were traveling home from a weekend full of good lake and great friends.  a beautiful weekend. the car was strangely quiet; the children, all laked-out and half asleep in backseat, my own sleepy head hard against glass. husband driving and no one talking. only the afternoon sun  urging me to shut heavy eyes.

but then i see it.  field covered in yellow bloom and white cows and blue sky and fence line all blending together in glory.  my sleepy thoughts fly fast out the window and i reach for husband's arm.  "stop," i say low, but hard.  "honey, stop the car."  he glances at me and then his eyes, too, move out past my window. and he knows.  i am not sure he sees what i see, but i feel the car slow. his foot on the break and he turns wheel right, heading for gravel.  the children roused and wondering and asking all at once, "what's going on?  why are we stopping?"

my hands grab camera and door handle and out i run - perhaps before the car completely stops. perhaps before any of us really understand. i run roadside wild. camera swinging and skirt flapping and i cross down into the ditch.  weeds and whatnot tangling at my ankles. my eye already at the lens.  i know a more judicious woman would watch where she walks, but i watch what i want. what i seek. and though this sometimes gets me in a bit of trouble, i am sure it is too beautiful to look away. 

the camera captures. click.  my finger on trigger.  a buttercup ocean spread before me, white cows bobbing along and all beneath the drinkable blue of spring sky.  i can't get enough.  i drink in and click down and camera snaps on.  i have forgotten the black yukon behind me until i hear them.  "mom, come on! what are you doing?"  exasperated voices of my children.  each echoing the other.  windows down and heads thrust out doing their child-best to interrupt my pastoral moment.  words float softer in the open expanse of countryside.  i ignore them a few minutes more.  "mom, let's go!" oh how they want to yell, "you're nuts!" from their backseat perches, but they know better.  at least i hope they know better.  their father is in the car - they had better know better.

and i take one more drink of white and yellow and blue. the cows stare back at me.  "what is this woman doing?" they ask each other.  i can see it in their eyes now that i am up close.  and i laugh.  yes, what is this woman doing?  i sometimes wonder myself.  kids, cows, and woman all wondering. i don't answer the cows, but instead turn and walk slowly back toward our running vehicle.  i walk the gravel dust back to my family.  and as i come near i can hear my husband explaining, "it is better to just let your mom do this, trust me, kids, i've learned."  children all comment at once. they've seen this same thing before.  he cuts them off laughing, "this is just how God made her."  and i grin and climb into the car. 

tolerant husband and perplexed children and happy woman drive off.  but camera carries in it a treasure from this stop.  and content woman carries in her the affection of being a tiny bit understood.  and together family travels away, wide awake, from a moment roadside when we stopped.

 the soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone. ~johann von goethe


Aus said...

I get it - but I'm strange like that too - find and preserve beauty where it is for we may never walk this way again!

hugs - aus and co.

DiJo said...

I LOVE it! And you know I totally get you don't you? Rick gets some big snaps for understanding the importance of getting the shot too!! I am a little bummed you didn't get those cowboys at the state fair now!!!

You need to share where that little slice of buttercup heaven is located!!! Beautiful photos!!

So fun today!
Hugs from Chanhassen!