Saturday, November 24, 2007
The Ride Home
We scurry from the German deli to our car and crank up the heat, an ice chocolate melting slowly away on our tongues. We drive through quaint towns already decorated and prepared to welcome Christmas. A Christmas tree, lit and sparkling shines through the windows of my favorite vintage store, but we won't be stopping to visit in there today. An old man sticks on his front porch in a lawn chair, watching the cars drive by. All the leaves have completely fallen from the trees and have been swept into large golden piles along the side of the road. A brisk wind comes through, lifting and carrying the leaves like the foamy crest on an ocean wave. The leaves seem to travel briefly with us down the road, riding alongside our pocket of warm air. The scent of woodsmoke fills the air and a few moments later a cozy brick house with a thin black trail of smoke puffing from its chimney is in eyesight. We drive on and leave the town behind for the open fields of the countryside. Bare open spaces stretch alongside the road, a thin line of trees forms a natural border, their elegant limbs marking the boundary lines. Through the dark outline of the branches the mountains rise purple and the sky pink, because the sun sets early now that it is winter.