Thursday, August 27, 2009
On Opportunity to Start Anew (Discovery for 8/27/09)
Every morning the whole world gives us the opportunity to start our lives anew.
That's what I kept thinking as I drove the winding roads of Eastern Kentucky yesterday as the land came
awake. A thin mist breathed out over on the hills and hollers. A white rind of moon in the struggling
shadows of first daylight. The sky burned purple and gray on the horizon. I passed through Big Hill, Morrill, Clover Bottom, Sand Gap, Gray Hawk, Mummie, Elias, Traveller's Rest, Levi, and other little communities. In each of these, the houses along the road were coming awake, too. Yellow rectangles of light in the windows. An occasional square of blue where a television flickered the morning news.
Best of all, the people stirred outside.
A woman sweeping her porch, her mind on something far, far away.
Two women sitting on a bench outside the Little Angels Daycare Center, smoking and laughing. One of them threw her head back to cackle out; the other slapped her knee.
A man stretching beside his truck before he climbed into it to head off to work.
Children, sleepy-eyed, disgusted, waiting for the bus.
A group of men standing around a truck at the quarry entrance, passing around a packet of powdered donuts. Their shoulders were heavy with the prospect of their labor that lay ahead of them, their hands big and square-fingered.
Several good dogs: a yellow one trotting down the shoulder of the road as if on a determined path; a white spitz marking his territory; a beagle yawning on the concrete porch steps of her home; a long-legged black dog coming out of the kudzu-covered woods from a long night of carousing.
Along the way there were all kinds of little businesses and churches: The Frostyette Dairy Stand, The Lord Jesus Christ Bapticostal Church of God, Mack's Used Cars, the Bobcat Diner.
And along the way there were a million trees, blue in that space before full daylight. And wildflowers, still not completely awake, standing tall, bright in their purpleness and whiteness and yellowness. In all the dew-laden grasses there clicked the night bugs that didn't quite understand that day had arrived, their songs slowing, quieting.
Silver Creek, the South Fork of the Kentucky River, Spruce Fork, Brushy Creek. Water creeping along, and rushing along. Clear and wild, slow and coffee-with-cream-colored.
All of this, and so much more, stretching, awakening, opening eyes, hoping, hoping, hoping.
Every morning we get the chance to start our lives anew, and the world offers that to us like a prayer, every single day. That's why it's a comforting thing to drive the winding roads of Eastern Kentucky on an August morning when the night has been cool but the day promises to be hot, because it's so easy to discover all of that.