Memorial Day Weekend

May 23 – May 27, 2013

dusk on highway 58

Wild, Free

Samantha W. C. Ray

(a poem inspired by highway 58)

In the dusk

the world is lit

in an inconceivable hue.

it is magic

enveloping us in it

we drive into it and


to the winds of the roads.

tobacco and corn fields

silhouettes of forest lines

and a sky

so monstrously wide

electric with colors

a spectrum impossible for my hungry eyes.

i am like a child.

a promise, a pulsing

pumping in the scene

streaming past my window

frames of cinematic look-alikes

but I am real, he is real,

and this is real

but only for the coyly passing hour

of twilight.

there is nothing but speeding air between it and me

this world and my world

rushing, cool spring air.

i tilt my head back and draw deeply

of the smell of wet earth

sweet and dark

full of green


setting sun

and cropland.

fields as old as generations

knowing wars & men’s blood,

yielding bread of life

as it is told

by the hand and mouth of God.

I smell Him.

I wash my hair in the wet of the wind

letting it tangle and whip

and my skin, dampen and bathe

until supple in duskened, living air.

I will smell like it.

not clean

but part of this wild earth

this wild world

clearly some enchanted corner

of God’s imagination.



For the weekend beginning Friday May 17th –

Another deeply drawn breath of fresh air.  I am a hopeless warm-weather romantic.  The final turning tide of the season may have contributed some to the happiness of the weekend (mixed in with a gloriously slim schedule), but whatever the recipe, I am rested and happy.

On Friday

The sliding door stayed open, only a sheer screen separating our sanctuary from the spring-sprung world outside, chirping birds, mosquitoes, and the large tree that has blossomed into all its lush green fullness right outside of our living room.  We have a perfectly framed view of it, like a postcard.

Cook books were strewn across our ottoman/coffee table, country know-how guides were flipped open carelessly in curiosity, seeds were hopefully planted in apartment-sized pots, and the smells of fresh wheat bread baking warmed the home and heart.

We fell to sleep early when our bodies said to.  The 7-5ish work schedule during the week makes 9pm “late night,” so on the weekends we just go with the ebbs and flows of our bodies’ needs and our college-like freedom.

On Saturday

I love Saturday mornings.  I cannot explain how much I love waking up slowly with my husband still in the bed with me.  Saturdays are for celebrating.  Whether you bake something fresh or go out for a treat – breakfast is slower and sweeter and the best way to start the day.

We grabbed our bags and headed to the midtown market, where our good friend roasts and sells coffee beans.  We shopped this time, a little change from our more recent routine of arriving and helping with coffee sales right away.  Lots of strawberries, collards, snap peas, tomatoes (greenhouse grown this time of year), meats, cheeses, and roses – the smells and sights so full and vibrant – healing.  There was a spin class out on the grass square pumping music – a funny addition to the scene but not all bad I think.  My hand always finds its way into John’s – callouses and strength.  We picked out a Chuck Roast from a man who farms cattle in a small town near Durham – Bahama (pronounced southernese as buh-hay-muh).  We would wait until the downtown market to purchase the rest.

John stayed to help out with the coffee sales, and I moved on to a shop a little north of there (my weekday safe-house turned weekend vacation)  for coffee, crescents, and conversation with girl friends (and their doggies).  Spontaneous get-togethers are special treats, especially approaching “adulthood” (or AH-dulthood) when the non-penciled-in hang outs are something of an endangered species.  Or maybe it’s just an illusion of AHdulthood so far, something the older, wiser ones have learned how to protect.

Long, easy conversation baking our winter paled skin in the new spring sun. Fresh coffee and pleased doggies, and lots of buzzing Saturday people grabbing their cup of joe to stay a while.

The gals and I headed to the downtown market to enjoy a quick round of vegetables, strawberries, cheese, fresh loaf bread, apples, and flower-oggling while the rain sprinkled then poured then sprinkled again, a cool spring rain that doesn’t send goosebumps, just refreshment.