As I drive home from one my few trips out of the house, it is already chilly and dark, in what feels like a brutally sudden change from the nights of late summer.
It is October.
Obviously, this is not sudden nor is it more brutal than any other normal seasonal transition. It just feels that way during a time when it is hard to relax and when every change feels like rolling on a bed of nails. It hurts all over.
The trees melt into a solid mass of black that threaten to absorb me at the slightest veer from the twisty gravel road. My headlights are on, illuminating the path ahead a soft yellow, cutting through the thickness of the dark. I expect a deer to dash across the road at any second and am on guard, my hands at 10 and 2.
Suddenly, a monster truck appears from the opposite direction, flashing its high beams as it rumbles past.
I am more on edge than I realize. It all scares me, the noise, the flashing lights and the speed; my heart pounds in my chest. Was he threatening me? Is there something wrong with my car or my driving? I am defensive as I consider the options.
Then it occurs to me that he is warning me about something, maybe a deer or a broken-down car.
I hit the brakes and slow down in time to see the sheriff’s car, parked off the road in a gas station parking lot, clocking speeders.
“Whew,” I let out a sigh of relief.
It is this moment of connection, this pure desire that is unmotivated by greed or gain to help another person, that informs me the world is not all bad. Strangers are not all dangerous. And the future is not as bleak as it seems with the looming election, global warming and the ongoing pandemic.
I can relax, a little. There is hope.
Glimmers of it are everywhere.
In high beams and low beams.