winter bus ride

| January 30, 2018

The sunlight gleams on the dirt-streaked bus window.

The vinyl seat across the aisle glows.

We flash past the snow and cattails. The fields and trees, the metal guard rails and concrete walls.

Soon it will be dark, the way afternoons in winter tend to be.

I am seeing the white lines on the highway, the white salt between the white lines. I am looking at the tangles and triumphs of naked tree branches.

I am dazzled by the starlings overhead; how do they fly in such cold?

We are all on this bus together, some hundred strangers and me. The overpass blocks the sun for a moment.

The light blasts the heads in front of me. Surely at least five rows of scalps are saturated in gold, mine included.

The lump springs into my throat. This happens sometimes, usually when I am quiet. It’s enough to make me want never to be quiet, but I know better.

The lump says hello again. It says, look how quickly you are passing by all of it. The street signs with their earnest instructions. The big parking lot filled with blue dump trucks and flatbeds. The graveyard. The dwindling twilight.

None of this will happen again. I look up from my work and remember.

Category: beauty, journey, outside, the seasons

About the Author ()

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David, their plucky three-legged cat Thomas, and a needy-yet-lovable dachshund named Birdie. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices. She's currently earning a Master of Social Work degree with the hope of using creative, expressive modalities in clinical settings.

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Thanks Hannah. Always good to hear (and see) your insights. Be well! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much, Doug! I hope your 2018 is off to a beautiful start.

  3. Ralph Eckardt says:

    When you write like this you draw me in to wonder and be in awe with you. It is like we are sitting together knitted in a vision separate but joined in the wonder. I love the way you have the wisdom and capacity to do that. You come close enough to enjoy the connection, but wisely stay far enough away so I can be in touch with my own consciousness as we see it together through your eyes. Thank you Hannah.

  4. Mama says:

    listening to Kenny G….. Breathless (1992)

    Seeing your ride,

    I wept

  5. Catherine says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing a simple moment in all of its depth.