Magnetic north pulled me up the black macadam toward a tiny Cotton family reunion. It would be one of us heading up, two of us heading back.
While the distance is a curse, the drive is not. I-95 beyond Bangor, Maine, sauntering toward Canada, is a lonely stretch of road. Most of the cursing on this odd-numbered Maine to Florida Interstate is more prevalent below D.C. and through the Carolinas. On this ribbon of Eisenhower’s masterpiece, any cursing is futile. No one will hear you. That’s what makes it one of my favorite drives.
I don’t believe the mercury had found its way past zero when I picked up a black coffee in a paper cup. My vaporous breath met that of my baristas in the chasm between car and frosty sliding glass window. She shut it quickly, leaving my breath to have the last dance all by itself. I took the first sip with a bit of trepidation. I always worry that someone will add cream, forcing me to drive around the building one more time to correct the problem.
A north wind was redistributing the recent snow, removing it from the fir trees lining the highway. Balsam and spruce branches exhibit patience as they hold mother nature’s manna. Depending on the prevailing winds, or a bit of sun, they wait to dump their cargo so they can spring back up and play catcher for the next snowstorm.
On my northward and southward drive, I witnessed the process. The drama unfolding all around me created a smoke-like mist of snow swirling through the air. Indeed, I would have relished being somewhere a bit further into the woods to watch the show. Still, the beauty is more difficult to embrace when the itinerant snow showers force the frozen precipitation down your collar and into your face.
Honestly, if it weren’t for the road through all of this, I would rarely witness the spectacle.
I pointed out the snowy tornados to my tiny passenger on the way home. She listened for a time, but she was more interested in a short nap. I turned the radio down to a level commensurate with her tolerance for noise and cracked my window so I could feel a few of the speeding flakes melt upon my face.
I believe that someday she will enjoy these long drives as much as I do. For now, I’ll appreciate the cold snow on my face and the warm feeling in my heart.
From the Jagged Edge, I remain,
Thank you for all your support, and for reading my stuff.