I saw children walking to the corner this morning. They wore backpacks and masks and stood waiting for the yellow school bus.
The weather app said it was 78 degrees outside. It actually felt like 78 degrees, as though the weighted blanket of summerlong humidity has been lifted.
The leaves and grass turned harshly in late summer from deep green to crispy brown and yellow. The morning cloud cover had a softening effect, so it looked more like autumn and less like heat exhaustion.
A woman on a bike rode up behind me. From a good distance she called out softly, like a mother waking up a child in another room: “Good morning.” It was gentle like a lullaby, only for waking up, absent of any urgency, insistence, or request. I awoke from my thoughts and stepped aside as she passed and repeated a kindly hello. Trail etiquette in its most exquisite form.
Now my son is out walking the lake with a friend. On the second lap, two more friends join them. These four were in the class of 2020. They don’t wait at the corner for the school bus anymore. They are freshmen at home, waiting for their life to come along.