Last Friday I left the house early to run. The moon was still high and bright in the bluing sky, and I watched it over my shoulder, frayed clouds passing across it at irregular intervals. The road passed a sugarbush, and there my view was altered by the long bones of leafless maples, half-lit and shadowy. I liked how the moon seemed to bounce in time to the rhythm of my steps. Ball-like.
A bit farther down the road I came to the tracks of a large deer. It’d been warm the day before, and the tracks were sunk into the road surface. But overnight the road had frozen, and there’d been a wisp of snow. The snow had softened the hard cloven edges of the tracks, and so they looked much like little hearts pressed into the road, just visible in the milky pre-dawn light. I followed them until they veered into the woods.
It’s funny how that moon and those tracks have stuck with me, how much pleasure they’ve brought me over the intervening almost-week. I keep returning to them, again and again, as if they held some meaning beyond their inherent beauty and my good fortune at bearing witness to that beauty, though I know without a doubt how ridiculous this is. Just a moon. Just some tracks. On any other morning, I might have hardly noticed either.
But on this one, I did. And what a difference that’s made.