190 miles. Twice a weekend. 4 out of the last 5 weekends. This is a lot of miles. Throughout the past nine months, I've made this drive quite a few times, but never as many consecutive weekends as this last month or so. All of those miles are interstate miles. The same road every time. You would think this would get boring, staring at the same scenery over and over, hour after hour. But I love it, especially in the spring.
The first of four weekends, the ground was still covered in snow. The fields were white, pure and untouched by the dirt underneath. The sun glittered across meadows and and frost clung to sleepy tree branches. All of the roadside ponds were frozen into a color that looked more like a Caribbean sea than the mud-soaked pothole that they were. The wild life was scarce, but it was beautiful.
The next weekend things began to thaw. The snow that had been so bright and clean began to show signs of the earth underneath. The roadside lakes stayed frozen their stunning teal. But the most spectacular part of this scene was the birds. The birds came in flocks by the hundreds, thousands! They flew high above the ground, and were merely tiny silhouettes whose wings flapped wildly against the biting wind, and it was beautiful.
The third weekend came after a one week break. The snow was almost fully melted, save the few deposits of brown mud that were yet to turn to water. The trees were completely bare and looked desperately sad, alone in the fields. The birds that had returned from the heated south were now hiding out from the crisp air that wasn't quite sun soaked enough to keep them warm. All of the ditches and and fields were empty and colorless. They blended into the sides of the roads and I felt like I was driving down an empty plane. Like a coordinate on a graph, I was barely aware of my surroundings.
But today's ride home was by far my favorite. Over the past week the sky has been using the air as a straw to suck up all of the extra water. This water has been collecting and filling up the tear ducts of the atmosphere, just waiting for something that would cause the tears to fall. Today that trigger was pulled. Whether it was something happy or sad, I'll never know, but the clouds were ready to weep. There were times when the clouds were sobbing, forcing heavy drops to fall rapidly, making it difficult to see. There were also times when the sky seemed to be simply teary eyed, just small droplets running down my windshield. When the world had returned from its state of either pure happiness or true sadness, everything was calm. The grass had gone from the dull yellow color of in between living and dieing to emerald green of exuberant life. The fields transformed from a dry, cracked, light tan to a rich brown the color of dark roasted coffee. The sky kept its stony gray after the rain quit, and the contrast of sky and grass was beautiful.