... the undulating blue of the mountains against the bright of the sky
... the dusting of snow on the summits
... the road swinging up the side of the ridge
... the blinding sun turning to amber as it sinks towards the horizon
... a song like a hammock
... a song that hugs the curves of the highway
... a song that tugs at the corners of your heart
... a voice that makes you swoon with familiarity
... a path never taken before
... all senses engaged
... a day expanded
Joy is this day, fuller and wider and achingly beautiful because you know tomorrow sadness awaits. You're driving to leave your retreat earlier than planned, to get in one more research trip, to make a 6 p.m. flight.
Tomorrow you will attend a friend's funeral, beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains in the still faraway flatlands of the wintry Midwest. The snow will be deep there, and the air icy, and the hearts heavy.
But for today, you're driving, up, through and beyond the mountains and the music fills your heart and the landscape makes you smile. For today, for now, from the airport lounge, you shall see the sun set and spread a band of molten orange above the mountains' inky silhouette.
The song is "Morgen."
The mountains are the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.
The town is Charlottesville.
The airport is Roanoke.