Friday, July 08, 2005

And the distance out there

Speed River at my feet
Running low and flat
I’m sitting here burning daylight
Thinking about the past
And the distance out there
Where the earth meets the sky

Cowboy Junkies, from Bea's Song

I’m driving to the cabin, a drive I have made over a hundred times. It’s a drive that takes me out of the city and, in a short time, off the freeway. Then I’m on country roads for the rest of the way. Passing pastures and mighty Live Oak trees with their branches spread low and wide. Passing flags hung from fences and mailboxes. Passing giant round bales of hay, fields of cotton and corn, and hand-painted signs advertising Watermelons for sale. I turn my head and see a group of older men playing cards beneath a tent rigged from poles and sheets, a pyramid of sweet watermelons on the table before then. I think about it but drive on. I pass fire stations and feed stores and hardware stores with screen doors and wide front porches. I pass small town bars with gravel parking lots and names like Neon Moon and Miss Ellie's. It’s a drive across a small area of Texas, but it’s wide and flat, and it stretches out like the sky. I roll down my windows. It smells like summer, dry and hot. Tonight, the sky will be filled with stars I never get to see in the city. But that's tonight. Right now it's a bright blue with fat and lazy clouds. Right now I'm tearing through the air. Right now I breathe deeply and inhale the scent of summer.

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