Monday, October 27, 2008


There is a road,
no simple highway,
between the dawn and the dark of night,
and if you go,
no one may follow,
that path is for your steps alone.

I included this Grateful Dead lyric in my high school yearbook, and at the time, it was just a favorite line from a favorite song and I thought I was being “deep” by quoting it. In the pre-dawn hours Saturday, as I was driving north on Interstate 89 to pick up a brush mower, the song came on the radio and practically pushed me off the road.

I had been mesmerized by the fog rising from the cold valleys, and the intense magenta sunrise, and the steel blue silhouettes of the Green Mountains – the little sliver of Camel’s Hump that sticks up, and the panorama up through Mt. Mansfield – familiar strangers from better times in my past.

I hadn’t heard the song in years, and it hit me between the eyes – “this is your life!” “This is the new reality.” The old me has been replaced by the new me, the me without the boy, or with the memory of the boy, his spirit in the sunrise and in the morning fog.

We don’t choose our road, and we don’t always get to pick our traveling companions, and some of them get lost on the way, but we keep moving along. I woke up Saturday night after the storm had passed – windows leaking, branches falling on the roof, wind howling – and the stars had come out. I could see the silver maple out the window pure black against the bright starlit sky, and I thought of the Universe and of Baker in heaven and was sad because he should be nearer to us than that. We like to call him our spirit baby, and hope that his baby spirit is with us on our road – if the path is for my steps alone, I hope that’s because Baker is in my arms.

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