Tonight, I pass off the pilot’s role, but the idea is basically the same.
We engage in passing through. Me, forever in love with the boy beside me. Forever looking back, wishing for longer days. And he? He photographs every destination we reach by car. Instagrams these pinion points in time. Like frozen wing beats. He seems just as willing to move toward what’s next as forget where he’s been. We’ve only been on this highway three times since he's taken to the wheel, but he's growing more confident, and the cruising gives way to open hearts and divulgences once he stops worrying about his mirror checks and all things behind him.
Tonight we pull into the Spanish Fork River Park and wander along the bank as the brilliant day ebbs, pinches the corner of the horizon, flickers a startling end to late spring.
I tell myself these drives aren't so different from the ones he and I took ten years ago, he as boy and I, young mother, seat-belted into a hand-me-down Plymouth Voyager pushing the vehicle’s limits on our private getaways. We wound into the Targhee forest to peer at owls among the soaring lodge poles, or picked our way through the wetlands of the Menan Butte in hope of spotting snowy egrets and sandhill cranes. Cohorts, searching the failing light for some winged thing.
And there he was, with me all along. Ever southbound. Departing, one joyride at a time.