I finished my clinic at the Augusta State Medical Prison and headed out through all its gates. Waiting for each to buzz me through I would attend an email here or there. I had been in the endings of Madeline L’Engle’s book The Other Side of the Sun. What and ending, what an ending, but that is another story. I had been sprinkling sentences and paragraphs in catching what Stella caught in her trying days of the the post-civil war American south.
On the way to the car I called my dad who’s John Deere riding lawn mower has given up its ghost; he sought recommendations. No answer. “Ok, I’ll try again later, or maybe shoot off an email from Starbucks.” So went my thoughts. After pushing the starting button on my Tacoma I opened Moon+ Reader Pro, my reading app, and pressed play. A few sentences came through my smartphone’s speaker before it tethered into the Tacoma’s bluetooth and the richer reading sound of the truck’s speakers continued on that story.
Well, not in my stomach, and not in my heart, but patience, patience I say. I’ll come to it.
No reversing was required and so straight out of the sparking spot went the truck and off through the parking lot. East on Gordon Highway I turned; mostly uneventful, just one pickup decided to pull across about a tire’s width into my lane, but no worries and on I went. Traffic got a bit heavier after approaching I-520. There I followed this Cadillac CTS which I’d let get in front of me on two occasions. It is funny how a car here and there on the road can sort of become a traveling companion.
Well, we are nearly to the title cut on this entry. Give me a few more miles and I’ll tell you of that Swallowtail. So no knight in shining armor in L’Engle’s book, but a fine thing that book was. She met someone long expected and the book finished. As eReaders are about as passionate as gravel it did not even pause to let me smile and ponder the ending. It just plowed right on “A Biography of Madeleine L’Engle.” (See that was the next section…poor eReader it just didn’t know.)
At some point as I was driving or listening or changing lanes something a tiny bit sad happened. Yep, it has to do with a flying thing. Not a bunch of flying things but a single butterfly. Down it dodged from the right. “Oh, I hit it.” I looked ever so briefly in the rear view mirror hoping it would fly away, thinking I’d see a tumbleweed of an insect on the busy asphalt its brief time done. Sadness. Poor swallowtail.
The story went on and away fluttered my thoughts of Mr. Swallowtail. Into the turn lane behind a large truck I merged for my left onto Old Trail Road. “I hope this light is long enough, and what should I do with that 18 wheeler in front of me? Let it clear the intersection before I follow checking to see if the light was still green? After all could he be taking it on yellow?”
He wasn’t. “Wow, that was a long light.” I don’t know what happened to him after that but I made my immediate right into the Starbucks parking lot as the Tacoma read on….”L’Engle struggled in school and often felt disliked by her teachers and peers.” It went on to say one elementary teacher said she was stupid and another when she wrote well enough to win a contest accused her of plagiarism. Hmmm…..too bad for her. I guess life disproved those things?
Through the parking lot to the other side of the Starbucks away from Old Trail Road I piloted my orange truck.
I took a spot next to an empty wheelchair slot. To a stop I pulled and into park went the shifter.
Then guess what happened! Yeah, that butterfly flew away. A swallowtail sprang up from where it must have been harmlessly pinned by wind and off to the breeze it sailed. Happiness! “Mmm, that was nice…”