A little gray car drove slowly past, the driver and passenger peering out the side window. I started to wave, but for some reason unknown to me, I didn't raise my arm with the usual friendly salute, and they didn't wave either.
"I wonder where they're going," I pondered.
The road itself is seldom traveled. It once held a destination, many years ago, but now it doesn't go anywhere. It just stops a mile or so up around the curve.
I had set out early in the afternoon to look for a tree. I needed a special one - a White Pine, small enough to transplant, crowded among others that ensured nature would eventually cull it anyway, and it had to look "just right."
As a boy, and well into middle age, I always loved to search out the perfect Christmas tree. And, every year I did find the perfect one, always after a long, long search and miles of walking and wandering, revisiting each one I found that seemed to fit the picture. The comparisons, viewings from every angle, imaginings of what it would look like in its new home, dreams of the season dancing in my mind...
At some time in my life, don't know when exactly, I realized the woods I had wandered held dozens of beauties. Almost whichever tree I picked would have seemed the perfect one when I got it home... and it would have been. The search wasn't as much about the tree as it was about the exquisite cloud of magnificent dreams drifting above a snowy tramp in the forest.
I found the perfect little White Pine, dug it up carefully, and placed it gently into a big cardboard box in the back of my pick-up, ready for the ride to its new home.
The afternoon was one of those cool September gems hinting at fall, but clinging to the fading summer, birch and poplar leaves glowing yellow among the evergreens. High clouds framed in the brilliant blue sky wafted quietly overhead.
As I put the shovel away and started to raise the tailgate, I glanced once more at the view surrounding me where I was parked. It was gorgeous! Not the breathtaking beauty of magazine covers, but absolutely gorgeous in every way.
Instead of raising the tailgate, I left it down and plunked my behind onto it, feet dangling, and sat in silence, mesmerized.
The little gray car came by again a few minutes later, retracing its route, as I knew it would. I imagined the man and woman as they disappeared on their way back, pondering, "I wonder what that guy is doing there."
My perfect little pine tree and I sat for another blissful hour, seemingly not doing much of anything.