So I was just driving out to Greenport with Scout hyperventilating in the backseat this afternoon, listening to some yet-unreleased Reggie Ray MP3s. Right as we were rounding a particularly beautiful bend in a back road (blue sky, newly turned soil, green everywhere), Reggie was talking about how the totality is in each moment—how even in a moment of longing for someone or something you can’t have, you can find everything you need—and I was thinking, “I don’t get it.” (This is nothing new.)
Just then a wind came up, and the tree up ahead did a little hula dance, its flower skirts twirling in all directions at once, and, all of a sudden, a veritable blizzard of little white and pink petals fell like fat, fragrant confetti all around my car. I laughed, Scout laughed.* And then, around the next bend, just in case he and/or I didn’t get it, was a yellow street sign—the kind put out by the county—on which was one word: “Church.”
I read it outloud to Scout because, even though the message was completely obvious, he can’t read, and I didn’t want him to miss it. Then I remembered that he can’t hear either. Judging from the depth of his enthusiastic love, though, which he’s been raining down like sudden petals all his life, I’d say he knows just what Reggie is talking about, and I’ve been missing it right there in the backseat of my car.
(Artwork: “Greenport, Long Island,” by Robert Ward van Boskerck, circa. 1880s-1890s)