Vox Clamantis in Suburbia
“There was a part of her she hadn’t yet allowed to be born because it was
too beautiful for this place, that was true.”
—Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Our favorite local weather personality’s first name is Merry, like Merry Christmas! Kudos to her parents for that. Merry told us this wind would blow in this morning, and like most days, Merry’s bright and right. When I write “wind” I’m not talking about a breeze, something to ruffle your feathery hair or whip a receipt from your hand. No, “wind” along Colorado’s Front Range is always a theft, the end result being loss. Today’s heist will be of gold and crimson, those leaves that for the last few weeks have given us some sense of reprieve from the what the hell? of 2020. Truly a breathtaking albeit brief autumn, a grand gift. But Merry made sure we knew the thief would come in the night. So, we knew.
“…and loss was the threshold to freedom.”
—Rachel Cusk, Transit
My wife and I have had conversations of late around the topic of moving, as in moving back to Arkansas. We’re not in any rush, but we both feel another adventure on the horizon, this one being the return to family. Sure, you could point to that final stage of Campbell’s hero’s journey, and that fact is not lost on me, but it doesn’t feel very heroic. It simply feels like the right thing to do. Of course, maybe that’s the same thing. Maybe. When we moved out here about seventeen years ago, we thought some of our family might follow our westward expansion. Nope, they stayed put—that’s where aging parents, brothers and sister, nephews and nieces, and even now our son live their lovely lives.
“I know nothing, except what everyone knows – if there when Grace dances, I should dance.”
We’ve found ourselves, during this season of the pandammit, making a weekly Chick-fil-A run. We love the dependable deliciousness that is Chick-fil-A, its not goofy expensive, and it gets us outta the house for a few minutes. As is our custom, we pick up our order and then sit in the nearby Bass Pro Shop parking lot and feast on our fries and that mac-n-cheese. As we pulled into the parking lot last night, we noticed a crowd, cars everywhere with their trunks or rear-hatches raised and all sorts of human running-around. It was then we saw them—the little people, kids dressed in all sorts of costumes. A tailgate-costume party hosted by our local Chick-fil-A. So there ya go. Not only did we pick up our mobile order for Meredith B, we were also graced to see an array of Disney princesses, a handful of Star Wars something-or-others, and I’m pretty sure I spied a Buzz Lightyear. Some antsy parent cranked up their car’s audio and played that “to the left, to the left” song and the people, both little and bigger, began to dance. And we, safely buckled waiting in line for our waffely fries, did too.
I really love the words you make up like pandammit and waffely. I hope one day I’ll be able to pull off that kind of writing too.
As one who has also left the Front Range (Colorado Springs Native here), take it all in before you go, and return often. There’s really nothing like those mountains and plains, and the wind that is indeed a thief.
Loved every part of this, John. A real treat in the middle of another I-can’t-recall-what-day-it-is day. Thanks for the pictures you’ve painted and hung here.
Always interesting, often subtle how we begin to sense the movement to change.