Bombing down back roads, singing along to Boston, the wind keeping me cool blowing up my t-shirt sleeve just as I lean my arm out the window. I’m thinking of the ice cream stand two towns north and nothing else.
I see it up ahead — Lightning Tree. Suddenly it’s that day last summer, churning grey and sheets of rain. As I approach the tree, its trunk suddenly glows orange and a hot, white finger points down from the sky. The loudest thunderclap I’ve ever heard, and the tree bursts apart as I pass.
It’s today again, sunny and clear. The cleaved trunk is covered in new green growth, lumpy, misshapen, and not quite as majestic as it used to be, but still thriving — just like us. And I smile, because I realize I never noticed the tree when it was perfect.
Are you ready for the summer?