“Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” — Pablo Neruda
Jon came back from Baja a day early, the race a crapshoot, his spirits low. “Tired of this shit,” he said on the phone. “Ready to come home.”
So he did, in late afternoon, landed at 3:02 pm into XNA in Northern Arkansas, and then we drove home on the old highway, through the towns with their 35 mile per hour signs and useless, evergreen stop lights. I’d prepped Cornish game hens for dinner, but the summer evening was so lovely and the light so long we packed everything in tupperware and drove to the farm to picnic for dinner.
A field, the evening, the country cloaked in twilight. We rumbled along the quartz gravel road through the farm and up past the little red hundred-year old house where no one lives anymore, buckled over the concrete cattle guard and slowed to let the cows cross in front of us.
“You have to be careful with these cows,” Jon explained. “If you corner them, they’ll tangle themselves right into that wire fence instead of going back into the open field.”
So we were careful in our passing. Turned up a side trail to the top of a hill and spread the meal out across the bed of the truck. The cows flocked to us, hopeful.
We laughed, we watched them. They watched back.