April 21, 2014

The Ride Home

The Ride Home
By John R. Greenwood

 As I sat at my writing desk (my weathered picnic table in the side yard) I watched the passing cars and pickup trucks returning home from work. It was a regular, old-fashioned Monday night, 6pm, after work parade. 

Something that was a part of my life for forty years--for some reason--tonight stood out like a sore thumb. Maybe it was the quiet of the moment. It was mid-April. The snow was gone. The sun had a half an hour left in her and the Nuthatches were beginning their evening ritual of circling the trees that surrounded my house. 

I was content and the traffic seemed that way too. Monday’s pace didn’t have that Friday night impatience vibe in it. It was as if each passing vehicle had gone into some NBA final minute stall trying to run the clock out at the end of the game. A desperation attempt to squeeze a little more spring enjoyment out of the ride home. I was sitting in my own yard but I felt the same way. It was such a hard fought winter and spring always passes through like a brakeless freight train.

The whistling tires and bass thumping stereos had an orchestra feel to them as they passed by. My heart rate slowed and my pencil seemed to flow across the lines of the page as easily as grandma frosting a chocolate cake. My mind mellowed out like it did when work hadn’t found me yet. I felt relaxed and happy as a kid with no homework or chores to do.

The traffic thinned, the breeze picked up, and the air cooled a degree or two. The sun was losing it’s grip and falling behind the shadowed hill. I heard a mother calling out to her kids to come in for dinner. I gathered up my empty coffee cup and my writing ‘gear’. 

I felt better than I had in months--spring fed and smiling. 

It was a nice ride home tonight, don’t you think? 


  1. Oh, it was a "hard fought winter," indeed. I recall that sense of traffic having an orchestral feel to it, but haven't experienced it in a while. You've captured this moment perfectly.

  2. "as easily as grandma frosting a chocolate cake"… your metaphors are great. Very relaxing read, and yes, spring fed, I think, is here to stay.

  3. Your words took me back to a neighborhood I lived in as a young adult -- with the commuters coming home and spring blossoming over us all. Nice post -- barbara at FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK